Pussy Riot Former Band Members Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Detained in Sochi

Celebrity News Feb. 18, 2014 AT 9:00AM
Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (L) and Maria Alyokhina Former Pussy Riot band members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were detained in Sochi on Feb. 18 ahead of a planned demonstration. Credit: Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images

Protests brewing at the Winter Olympics? Former Pussy Riot band members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were detained in Sochi, Russia on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Tolokonnikova, 24, told the Wall Street Journal that she and Alyokhina, 25, were grabbed by police while walking through the Black Sea resort, and told they were being held in relation to an alleged theft at their hotel.

PHOTOS: Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony

"We, Maria Alyokhina and the anonymous members of Pussy Riot, came to Sochi to organize a protest and express our political views but at the time of our detention [by the local police] we were just taking a stroll minding our own business when we got picked up by the police and shoved into a police van," Tolokonnikova said. "We've been detained like anybody who's made an attempt to criticize authorities during the Olympics. Authorities treat local guests and athletes nicely but not those who are attempting to organize a protest."

PHOTOS: Hottest Team USA athletes

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina said they were in Sochi, near the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, planning a protest of Russian President Vladimir Putin called "Putin Will Teach You To Love The Motherland." Tolokonnikova told the Wall Street Journal that they had been detained several times in Sochi since they arrived on Sunday, Feb. 16.

PHOTOS: Olympians' darkest secrets

The former members of the Russian punk rock group were recently released from prison after serving a nearly two-year sentence following an arrest in 2012 for hooliganism. With three months left of their sentence, they were released three months early under a Kremlin-backed amnesty.

comments powered by Disqus

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT