Pussy Riot's Nadia And Masha Disowned For Forgetting "Aspirations And Ideals" Of Punk Group

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Members of the Russian punk activist group Pussy Riot have disowned their two most high-profile members, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, for having forgotten about the "aspirations and ideals of [the] group." Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, known as Masha and Nadia, were released from a 16-month prison stint in Russia after having performed their anti-Putin protest song, 'Punk Prayer,' in a Moscow cathedral in 2012.

Pussy Riot
Masha & Nadya Have Been Disowned By Members Of Pussy Riot.

Heavy media interest and intense human rights lobbying played a part in the women's release and has brought certain Russian freedom of speech injustices to light. On the eve of the Winter Olympic Games, currently being held in the Russian city of Sochi, the pair performed alongside Madonna at Amnesty International's Bringing Human Rights Home concert at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn last night, where the Flaming Lips, Yoko Ono, Bob Geldof, Lauryn Hill, The Fray Blondie and Imagine Dragons also contributed.

Maria Nadezhda Pussy Riot
The 'Free Pussy Riot' Campaign Brought Worldwide Attention & Lobbying.

The story of their imprisonment attracted interest from across the globe, with many celebrities publically voicing their support for Pussy Riot's plight. However, six members of the band have signed an open letter, distancing themselves from Nadia and Masha's fame "We are very pleased with Masha and Nadia's release. We are proud of their resistance against the harsh trials that befell them," begins the letter, published via The Guardian.

"Unfortunately for us, they became so carried away with the problems in Russian prisons that they completely forgot about the aspirations and ideals of our group - feminism, separatist resistance, the fight against authoritarianism and personality cults, all of which caused their unjust punishment," they collectively write.

'Punk Prayer': The Demonstration Song That Saw Pussy Riot Imprisoned:

The anonymous members, signed as Garadja, Fara, Shaiba, Cat, Seraphima and Schumacher, lament the loss of "two friends, two ideological teammates" yet warn that "Masha and Nadia are no longer members of the group, and will no longer take part in radical actionism."

The group add "Now they are engaged in a new project, as institutionalised advocates of prisoners' rights." The Pussy Riot members show their frustration towards the continued attribution of the Pussy Riot moniker to Masha and Nadia's activities in the press, when both have publically distanced themselves from the group and have asserted they act under their own names.

The tone of Pussy Riot's letter is stern in its message but enthusiastic for the former members' work: "Unfortunately we cannot congratulate them in person because they refuse to have any contact with us. But we appreciate their choice and sincerely wish them well in their new career."

Pussy Riot The Saturday Night Show
The Pair Announced Plans To Form Their Own Human Rights Organisation.

Earlier this week, Nadia and Masha appeared at an Amnesty International press conference where they thanked the media for the high level of coverage but vowed that their home country's problems were far from over. They announced that they'd be forming their own human rights organisation with the hope to end the injustices Russia is plagued by.

As a parting statement, Pussy Riot made the situation clear: though their 'Free Pussy Riot' campaign brought their cause more attention worldwide than they could have dreamed of, they are sticking to their core morals and will not be associated with their famous former members.

They said "Remember, we are no longer Nadia and Masha. They are no longer Pussy Riot."


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