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What Katya did next

Freed Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich talks to The St. Petersburg Times about the events of 2012.

Published: January 23, 2013 (Issue # 1743)



  • Yekaterina Samutsevich at the roundtable in St. Petersburg last week.
    Photo: sergey chernov / spt

Twelve months after feminist punk collective Pussy Riots Putin Has Pissed Himself breakthrough protest performance on Red Square, group member Yekaterina Samutsevich, who was freed by an appeal court in October, came to St. Petersburg to take part in a roundtable organized by the Center for Independent Social Research.

Called Class, Gender, Politics: Russia After Pussy Riot, it was dedicated to the imprisoned group member Maria Alyokhina, whose appeal was heard and rejected last week in Berezniki in the Perm Krai, some 2,000 kilometers away.

On Sunday, Samutsevich, 30, spoke to The St. Petersburg Times via Skype about events surrounding Pussy Riot and Russia in general throughout the past year.

Q: What are your impressions of your visit to St. Petersburg?

A: I came to take part in the roundtable, but the actual reason was that the roundtable was dedicated to Maria Alyokhina and a court hearing about a postponement of her sentence that was taking place that day. Thats why I decided to support Masha by coming to St. Petersburg and talking about her and problems of media coverage of our case.

I liked the roundtable a lot, I liked the Center for Independent Social Research, very intelligent and sincere people work there. I havent spoken to such people for a long time, and I was pleased that they supported us and invited me. There were many specialists on gender issues at the roundtable; there was even a specialist on the problems of female prisons there. I really appreciated this professional approach to the topic.

As for St. Petersburg, it was a sunny day when I arrived, so that put me in a good mood. Especially when I just arrived, because I had hopes that Masha could be released. But obviously, as soon as I learned that Mashas postponement appeal had been rejected, my mood got a lot worse. I found out when the roundtable had already started, so probably wasnt very cheerful during it, but I had good reason to be upset.

Q: Pussy Riot last gave an interview to The St. Petersburg Times a year ago just after the Putin Has Pissed Himself performance on Red Square and a month before the first two members of the group were arrested. The protest movement was still at its peak, but you were unhappy that it had turned into sanctioned rallies and said that the Kremlin was not afraid of them. Would you say this tendency has prevailed and the protest movement has subsided?

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