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Still from Pussy Riot’s CHAIKA, 2016.

Pussy Riot Parodies Russian Law Enforcement in New Anti-Corruption Music Video

Simon Shuster reports at Time that the Russian collective Pussy Riot have released a new music video today in collaboration with David Sitek of the American band TV on the Radio, addressing corruption in President Vladimir Putin’s government. The video was shot in and around Moscow in locations such as a Soviet-era banquet hall where one of the group’s co-founders, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and a crew of back-up dancers are dressed up in the blue uniforms of Russian prosecutors, which fooled the landlords of the venue into believing that a law enforcement convention was in progress. Their suspicions about the group’s intentions were raised, though, by a scene’s incorporation of a golden loaf of bread, which was a symbol of corruption in the former Soviet Union. The group also shot torture scenes in a former jail often used as a set for TV dramas.

A primary target of the video is prosecutor general Yuri Chaika, for whom the song is named, and who has faced controversy and ridicule in the past few months after Russia’s anti-corruption campaigner, Alexei Navalny, published an investigation accusing Chaika and his two sons of financially benefiting through personal ties with a notorious Russsian criminal gang. Tolokonnikova, addressing Chaika, says in the song “Be humble, learn to obey… You wanna get away with murder? Be loyal to your boss,” as a large portrait of Putin hangs behind her and the golden loaf sits on a desk in front of her.

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