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Pussy Riot say Cossacks beat them with whips in Sochi

Published on Feb 20, 2014 7:02 AM
 
Wearing masks members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (left) and Maria Alyokhina (right) speak to journalists while leaving the police station of Adler, near Sochi on Feb 18, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SOCHI, Russia (REUTERS) - Members of the all-women Russian protest group Pussy Riot said they were beaten with whips on Wednesday by Cossacks who are helping patrol Sochi during the Winter Olympics.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who served prison sentences over a protest in a church against President Vladimir Putin, said they were attacked in Sochi as five band members tried to perform a song.

"Under the banner Sochi 2014, to the sound of 'Putin will teach us to love the homeland', Cossacks attacked Pussy Riot, beat us with whips and sprayed a lot of pepper gas at us," Tolokonnikova wrote on Twitter.

Video purportedly of the incident posted on a Russian television website showed Pussy Riot members pulling trademark, brightly coloured ski masks over their faces and performing a song in front of a wall decorated with the Sochi Games design.

 
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