Monthly Archives: October 2013


Pussy RiotWhat’s new! Why are they surprised! Was it bravery or stupidity! Back in Februrary 2012 Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and other members of the punk band Pussy Riot sung a dodgy song about Putin in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Hardly a capital offence but the message comes loud and clear – don’t mess with the boss.
When Urszula was imprisoned in the 1940s and 50s millions of innocent citizens were sent to the gulags by Stalin and many died. This is no longer the case, but if you are brave enough to protest against the political establishment they make conditions very unpleasant as Nadezhda has experienced.
• Sewing police uniforms up to 16 hours a day with only 4 hours sleep a night, and one day off every 6 weeks.
• 800 prisoners forced to use a ‘general hygiene room’ designed for 5, and having to unblock the pipes themselves.
• Poor diet of stale and rotten food
• Excessive punishments for complaining or acting out of step such as being kept from the toilet, removal of warm clothes and being kept outside in freezing weather.
• Prisoners beaten up by other prisoners at the behest of the authorities.
On the face of it prison conditions are not as bad as in the heyday of the gulags, but for a number of prisoners the difference is difficult to distinguish.