After the romantic escape of a prison officer and an inmate in the United States, a very different, but equally incredible escape took place in Russia. This is that of Maria Alekhina. This 33-year-old Russian activist made a name for herself with her group, Pussy Riot, by singing a punk prayer against Vladimir Putin in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow in August 2012. Sentenced to two years in prison, she was was later released, but has continued her activism until today.

In the sights of the Russian authorities for ten years, Maria Alekhina has however seen the pressure of the government and the police against her intensified since last summer. In September, the activist was sentenced to a year of “restrictions” on her freedom for having called for a demonstration against the arrest of the main Russian opponent, Alexeï Navalny. The young woman is placed under judicial supervision, is subject to a night curfew and is prohibited from leaving Moscow. But the justice does not stop there. In mid-April, in the middle of the Ukrainian conflict, his house arrest turns into twenty-one days in prison in a penal colony. It was then that Maria Alekhina decided to flee Russia, at least temporarily.

Hooded coat and square backpack on the back

The activist then constructs a plan, the ingenuity of which the greatest fugitives will recognize. To escape the surveillance of the police who do not take their eyes off her friend’s apartment in which she is staying, Maria Alyokhina disguises herself as a meal delivery girl. On Twitter, her companion Lucy Shtein posted a photo showing her in a green hooded coat from the “delivery club” group, with the famous square backpack on the back, specific to delivery men. “An easy way to get around the cops posted at your door,” wrote the young woman in the caption.

Next, Maria Alekhina she will tell New York Times later. In order not to be located, the thirty-year-old takes care to leave her laptop in the apartment. A friend drives her to the Belarusian border. It will then take a week to reach Lithuania. A long journey made with big black platform shoes, without laces. A nod to his stays in prison, where shoelaces are confiscated. It is finally in Vilnius that Maria Alekhina agrees to reveal her flight to the American daily. “I was happy to have succeeded, it was an unpredictable middle finger to the Russian authorities,” she says from a small studio in the Lithuanian capital. I still don’t really understand how I did it. »

During his interview at New York Times, Maria Alekhina was surrounded by a dozen other members of the Pussy Riot group, having recently fled Russia. Among them, his companion Lucy Shtein. “Maria didn’t leave Russia, she went on tour! “, writes the latter on Twitter. The feminist punk band is actually planning a tour starting May 12 in Berlin, to raise funds for Ukraine.

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