Four members of Russian feminist collective and punk rock art group, Pussy Riot, have arrested after decorating government buildings with LGBTQ+ flags on Vladimir Putin’s birthday (Wednesday 7 October). In a protest against Russia’s attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community, the group hung rainbow flags on the federal security service HQ, the district police, the culture ministry buildings and the Russian supreme court.
According to Russian news outlet Meduza, activists Maria Alyokhina and Veronika Nikulshina were arrest on Thursday morning, and fellow Pussy Riot members Vasily Andrianov and Elizaveta Diderikh were found by police later that day. Police officers also visited the homes of Alexander Sofeev, Veronika Nikulshina, and Lyusa Shtein who took part in the protest.
The group also made several demands to Putin, including urging him to launch an investigation into the killings and kidnappings of queer people in Chechnya. Members also asked the Russian president to abolish the controversial ‘gay propaganda law’ and to make October 7 a national celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.