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Pussy Riot member leaves Russia disguised as a courier

One of the members of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, said today that she managed to leave Russia after tricking the police by disguising herself as a food delivery person.

The activist joins the thousands of Russians who have left the country since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24.

In September, Alyokhina was sentenced to a year of “restrictions” on her freedom — including judicial control, a night curfew and a ban on leaving Moscow — for calling a demonstration against the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

In April, Russian justice tightened the measures against Alyokhina, replacing them with a prison sentence, in a hearing that she did not attend.

In an interview with The New York Times, the 33-year-old activist said today that she managed to get out of Moscow disguised as a food delivery girl. She left her cell phone behind to avoid being tracked by the police.

She then crossed the border into Belarus and a week later managed to cross into Lithuania after several attempts.

“I was glad I got it because it was a big, unpredictable ‘goodbye kiss’ for Russian authorities,” Maria told the NYT.

Her companion Lucy Shtein, also a member of Pussy Riot, posted on Twitter a photo of Maria Alyokhina in a green uniform from the Delivery Club company and with a food delivery bag on her back.

Alyokhina “didn’t run away from Russia, she went on tour”, starting with a May 12 concert in Berlin to raise funds for Ukraine, Lucy tweeted.

Maria Alyokhina previously served a two-year prison sentence for offering a “punk prayer” in Russia’s main church — Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior — in 2012.

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