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Pussy Riot member says RT politicians support repression

Founding member Maria Alyokhina is performing this week at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Maria Alyokhina: Feminist activist criticises Russian media (file pic).
Maria Alyokhina: Feminist activist criticises Russian media (file pic). PA

A member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot has said politicians who appear on state-funded Russian TV are supporting political repression.

Maria Alyokhina, who is performing this week at the Edinburgh Fringe, called the government-backed news organisation RT "propaganda".

She also criticised western politicians who appear on channels like RT - formerly Russia Today - and said they set a "bad example".

"It's not independent journalism at all," Ms Alyokhina said.

"This is a huge media organisation with almost a governmental level of budget. Russia Today does not provide independent information, it works for the Russian Government."

'We all understand that any politician is an example for people and that's a bad example.'
Maria Alyokhina

Asked about western politicians working for organisations like RT, she added: "We all understand that any politician is an example for people and that's a bad example.

"All the Russian propaganda TV channels are not working to provide information, but to provide hatred. Russia Today is not an exception.

"If they are working with these people then they are supporting terrorists because the [Russian security service] FSB are terrorists. They are using terrorist methods.

"We have a situation where you can go to prison because of a Facebook post or the re-tweet of a political statement."

Ms Alyookhina is one of the original three members of Pussy Riot who were arrested in 2012 after a carrying out a demonstration against Russian President Vladimir Putin at a church in Moscow.

She is barred from leaving Russia and was forced to drive more than 600 miles from Moscow before boarding a flight to Scotland.

"She was absolutely determined to perform the show at Summerhall," a Pussy Riot spokesman said.

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