Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pussy Riot member warns: ‘When Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be OK’

Pussy Riot member warns: ‘When Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be OK’:

Pussy Riot member warns: ‘When Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be OK’



Nadya Tolokonnikova — the Russian artist, activist and Pussy Riot member — warned Americans not to grow complacent after the election of Donald Trump, who she said has the power to reshape political norms to his own benefit.
She said many Russians, including the wealthy oligarchs who helped engineer his rise to power, failed to appreciate the threat Vladimir Putin posed to the nation’s fledgling democratic institutions until it was too late, reported the New York Times.
“It’s important not to say to yourself, ‘Oh, it’s okay,’” Tolokonnikova said. “It’s important to remember that, for example, in Russia, for the first year of when Vladimir Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be okay.”
Tolokonnikova and her bandmate, Maria Alyokhina, were among the Putin critics who were arrested, shoved into exile, forced to give up their businesses or murdered.
She and Alyokhina were sentenced to two years in prison for their 2012 guerrilla performance brutally mocking Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church, and they have become international symbols for the authoritarian leader’s crackdown on free speech.
They were released in December 2013 under an amnesty passed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Russia’s constitution.
Trump has frequently praised Putin and said his killing of critical journalists makes hima “strong leader,” and Tolokonnikova warned Americans that their democratic institutions are vulnerable to the same threats.
“It is a common phrase right now that ‘America has institutions,’” Tolokonnikova said. “It does. But a president has power to change institutions and a president moreover has power to change public perception of what is normal, which could lead to changing institutions.”Pussy Riot member warns: ‘When Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be OK’:



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