AceShowbiz - Four members of punk rockers Pussy Riot have each been sentenced to 15 days in jail after rushing the pitch at the 2018 World Cup Final in Russia.
Protestors Veronika 'Nika' Nikulshina, Olga Kurachyova, Olga Pakhtusova, and Pyotr Verzilov hit headlines on Sunday, July 15, after interrupting the big soccer clash between France and Croatia in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium while dressed as police officials.
One of the protesters managed to reach French star Kylian Mbappe and give him a high five, while another activist was detained by Croatian defender Dejan Lovren.
The anarchists were promptly rounded up and led off the grass by security officials before being arrested by police, as members of the crowd, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, looked on.
Pussy Riot representatives quickly claimed responsibility for the stunt via Twitter, revealing the protest was staged as a message to free political prisoners in their native Russia.
we demand to: 1. Let all political prisoners free. 2. Not imprison for “likes”. 3. Stop Illegal arrests on rallies. 4. Allow political competition in the country. 5. Not fabricate criminal accusations and not keep people in jails for no reason. 6. Turn the earthly policeman into the heavenly policeman.
The four suspects were subsequently charged with violating the rules for spectators at sporting events and of wearing police uniforms illegally, and on Monday, a Russian judge ordered the activists to each spend 15 days behind bars.
They have also been banned from attending sports events in the country for the next three years.
Attention! The court has just sentenced the first Pussy Riot member, Veronica Nikulshina, with 15 days of administrative arrest (will spend them in a special prison) and banned her from visiting sports events. pic.twitter.com/e0hX5fQSzl— 𝖕𝖚𝖘𝖘𝖞 𝖗𝖎𝖔𝖙 (@pussyrrriot) 16 July 2018
Pussy Riot are known for their outspoken criticism of Putin and famously hit headlines in 2012 when bandmembers were imprisoned for staging a protest performance at a church in Moscow. Two of the three arrested served 16 months behind bars before they were freed following increased pressure from officials at human rights organisations, including Amnesty International.
The group has since formed an army of anarchists who take every opportunity to fight for more freedom in Russia and challenge the leadership of the President.