Ekaterina Samoutsevitch of Pussy Riot

 

Radio Interview with Ekaterina Samoutsevitch of Pussy Riot

Iddhis Bing

 
         Ekaterina Samoutsevitch of Pussy Riot was freed under "conditional
liberty," on October 10, 2012 and on the 12th gave a radio interview to A Private Opinion on the Echoes of Moscow channel.
 
         A few quick observations.
         Type Cathedral of Christ the Savior and youtube into your search engine and the first two things that come up are the destruction of the cathedral by the Soviets in 1932 and Pussy Riot’s performance there on February 21. This very much informs the Russian context in which the interview takes place, as the interviewer tries to find some way to pin the charges of "incitement to religious hatred" on, and generally discredit, Samoutsevitch. Even so, the interview has much more to say about PR’s time in jail and political realities in Russia today than Christiane Amanpour’s star turn on CNN, in which she repeatedly referred to the three women as "girls."
         The two other members of Pussy Riot have subsequently been sentenced and shipped far from Moscow: Maria Alyokhina to a women’s prison camp in Perm in Siberia and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova to Mordovia. Both are mothers and both camps are reportedly among the harshest in the Russian system. It remains to be seen if they will serve the full two-year sentences.
         A recent Russian visitor to the commune where I live outside of Paris had this to say about dissent in her country: "There is freedom of expression in Russia. You can go out to the street and say whatever you want but as soon as you get organized, Putin will find a way to flatten you. Any time forces coalesce, you will be crushed."     
         Still, one tries to be hopeful and remembers Anna Akhmatova’s great lines on the five year imprisonment of the poet Joseph Brodsky. “What a biography they’re fashioning for our red-haired friend!” she said. “It’s as if he’d hired them to do it on purpose.”
         The full text of the interview can be found here:
         http://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/a-rioters-prayer/