Rage: Pussy Riot drop new video in support of Russia’s political prisoners

Rage: Pussy Riot drop new video in support of Russia’s political prisoners
Image: Santiago Imkorpo Pagnotta

1 February 2021

Art-activists Pussy Riot have premiered a new protest music video dedicated to Russia’s political prisoners.

Besit (or Rage in English) brings together Russian artists and human rights’ activists, as Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolonnikova raps in Russian. “Police baton on my ribs, /I’m singing with blood today,” she sings, “We’re getting stronger and that makes you angry/ RAGE RAGE.”

Police detained 13 artists during the video shoot in February 2020, accusing them of making “gay propaganda”. The resulting clip was made from footage captured before the arrest interrupted filming.

Rage was originally planned for release later this year, together with Pussy Riot’s debut studio album of the name. The group decided to push forward the video’s premiere after tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets to rally against the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. The unsanctioned demonstrations were met with thousands of arrests, including more than 5,000 people detained during demonstrations on 31 January.

Navalny was arrested by Russian officials for parole violations as he flew to Moscow from Berlin. He had previously been receiving treatment in Germany after being poisoned by a chemical agent, an attack which he has attributed to the Kremlin.

Pussy Riot member Masha Alekhina was also put under house arrest on 28 January until 23 March, and risks two years in jail for encouraging people to join the demonstrations via social media.

“We dedicate [the video] to all Russian political prisoners,” Tolokonnikova wrote on Instagram. “What’s happening in Russia is outrageous and unacceptable. Putin must go. He’s one insane, sad, lonely, and corrupt man who is dangerous for society.”

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