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Pussy Riot's Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina Released From Prison

Published: December 23, 2013 (Issue # 1791)

  • Alyokhina being led into a court hearing in August.
    Photo: Vladimir Filonov / SPT

Pussy Riot activist Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was amnestied and released Monday from the hospital where she was serving her prison sentence.

Tolokonnikova left the hospital property in the mid-afternoon, following in the footsteps of fellow convicted Pussy Riot member Maria Aklyokhina, who was released early Monday morning from the prison in the Nizhny Novgorod region where was was being held.

The two members of the Pussy Riot punk group were set to remain incarcerated until March on charges of hooliganism for staging a "punk prayer" at Moscow's Christ the Savior cathedral in February 2012, but were pardoned under a broad amnesty signed by President Vladimir Putin last week.

Earlier, Alyokhina had been asking for "legal means" to avoid her planned release on amnesty because she was worried for the safety of the other inmates at the prison colony, her friend Taisia Polyakova, who visited Alyokhina on Thursday, said.

Alyokhina said other inmates had received threats from the prison administration, and she wanted to serve out her term to help protect them, Polyakova said, Dozhd television reported.

Alyokhina did not want to violate the prison regime – a move that would have put her into an isolation cell and delayed her release – because it would have removed her from other inmates and prevented her from looking out for them, Polyakova said.

Since no "legal means" to avoid the amnesty appeared to be available, Alyohkina said that after her release, she would ask human rights monitors to help protect her friends in prison, Polyakova said.


Times Talk


Thursday, Apr. 17

Expocenter Eurasia at 13 Ulitsa Kapitan Voronin is the sight of Goods on the Way, a five-day event starting today showcasing the latest in the industrial products industry. Bags, backpacks, swimsuits and much, much more will be available to attendees hoping to update not only their style but their accessories for the upcoming summer.

Friday, Apr. 18

Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.

The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).

Sunday, Apr. 20

Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.

Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.

Monday, Apr. 21

Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.

Tuesday, Apr. 22

SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.

The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.