Pussy Riot Say Russian Police Shut Down Video Shoot, Citing “Gay Propaganda”

Pussy Riot Say Russian Police Shut Down Video Shoot, Citing “Gay Propaganda”

Russian police stormed a Pussy Riot music video shoot in Saint Petersburg on Sunday (February 9), citing the country’s “gay propaganda” law, according to a statement the band released overnight. They say the political police accused them of “extremism” and “making an illegal video” but failed to provide legal justification for the group’s removal from Lenfilm studio, where they were filming. Below, watch a brief preview of the video and footage apparently showing Russian police relaying their allegations.

The shoot, for a new song called “БЕСИТ / RAGE,” featured “150 activists, mostly female or queer,” the group says. They claim police ordered Lenfilm to shut off the power, then barred Pussy Riot from bringing a generator to finish the shoot. The “gay propaganda” law, codified in 2013, is still enforced despite being deemed illegal by the European Court of Human Rights in 2017.

In a statement to Russian media, Lenfilm reportedly claimed the police in the video were actors, attributing the power outage to an electrical problem. On Instagram, Pussy Riot responded, “Damn it, if the actor played this, he would have been given an Oscar.”

“We lost $15k on the video production today,” the group writes, “because of the absurd ‘gay propaganda’ law, and we’ll be thankful if you share this info and/or be kind enough to help us to raise the money to make this video happen anyway.”

On Monday (February 10), 13 people including Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova were detained in a St. Petersburg police station. The collective claimed that police arrested them during a photoshoot. They’ve since been released from custody.