Pussy Riot Member Sentenced To 15 Days For 'Disobeying Police'

By RFE/RL's Russian Service

MOSCOW -- A Moscow court has sentenced a member of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot to 15 days in jail on the charge of disobeying police orders.

The court issued the ruling against Veronika Nikulshina on June 17 after she refused to go to a police station for questioning.

Police told the court they intended to question Nikulshina about whether she was planning any activities to disrupt Euro 2020 soccer events in St. Petersburg.

Nikulshina and several other members of Pussy Riot were sentenced to 15 days in jail for interrupting the 2018 World Cup final in Moscow between France and Croatia by running onto the field wearing fake police uniforms.

The group says such stunts are aimed at challenging government policies and raising awareness of human rights issues.

Pussy Riot came to prominence in 2012 when its members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, burst into Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral to protest ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Their protest, the performance of a song they described as a "punk prayer," took place as Putin was campaigning for his return to the presidency.

Two were convicted on a charge of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" and sentenced to two years in a penal colony.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were close to completing their sentences when they were granted amnesty in December 2013.

Two dismissed their amnesty as a propaganda stunt aimed at improving Putin's image abroad ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.

With reporting by Mediazona