Members of Pussy Riot were beaten by Russian officials on Tuesday, while shooting a music video in Sochi for their song “Putin teaches us to love our motherland.”

Pussy Riot, the underground women’s band known for protesting President Vladimir Putin, were performing a new song, “Putin teaches us to love our motherland,” outside at a port near the Sochi Olympic Park in front of a Sochi 2014 sign.

Surrounded by photographers, the women, wearing their trademark neon-colored ski masks, began their performance and were immediately interrupted by uniformed Cossacks, who have joined the Russian police in Sochi. The authorities attacked using pepper spray, batons and whips, grabbing the women and breaking up the performance. One even began beating a photographer.

Maria Alyokhina And Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Tweet Attack

A video of the attack was posted on YouTube and quickly circulated the web, causing widespread outrage. Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda (Nadia) Tolokonnikova tweeted about the event and the video. Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova are the two members of Pussy Riot who served almost two years in a Russian prison after being arrested for performing an anti-Putin song in a Russian Orthodox cathedral.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina have been vocal in their protests since their release, after being unmasked during trial they became worldwide public figures. The women live-tweeted the events and shared photos of injuries sustained during the attack and one of Tolokonnikova lying in a hospital bed following the beating.

Following the attack, Pussy Riot posted their video for “Putin will teach you how to love the motherland” and included footage of the attack, as well of clips of the women performing alongside one of the Olympic mascots.

This was just one day after members of Pussy Riot were arrested while walking the streets of Sochi, supposedly as part of the investigation of a local theft. The members were released after a few hours, and claimed that the police beat them while in custody.

Pussy Riot members recently published an open letter saying that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were not members of the group anymore, but the women maintain that they still represent Pussy Riot even if they are not part of the original band. What started as a politically active rock band has turned into a larger movement, and they continue to be the faces of Pussy Riot’s political activism. Following their release, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina have been conducting interviews, speaking out about the oppression and torture they encountered in while imprisoned.

International Olympic Committee Responds

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is aware of the attack, and, while IOC spokesman Mark Adams conceded that the video was “very unsettling,” they will not be taking any action regarding the assault. Adams insists that the issue is one for the local government to address, not the IOC.

“It’s largely an issue for the Krasnodar governor, and he’s expressed strong disapproval of what happened,” said Adams.

Adams added that it is unlikely that the altercation went against the Olympic charter, and emphasized the desire for the Olympics to remain as politically neutral as possible.

“I would purely say that it’s a shame if the Olympics is used as a political platform, and that’s what we’ve always said. We saw yesterday the strong feelings on both sides that these sorts of things provoke, and that’s why we ask the Olympics not used as a platform for people to express views and we will continue to say that,” Adams said.

Pussy Riot has reportedly left Sochi, and plans to protest outside a Moscow courthouse on Friday, Feb. 21.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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