Russia needs denazification, says Pussy Riot leader after breakout

BERLIN, May 12 (Reuters) – Russia, not Ukraine, needs denazification, said the leader of anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot, which this week left Russia disguising herself as a food courier before her group began a concert tour against the war.

During a rehearsal for a concert on Thursday in the German capital, Maria Alyokhina said the Russians should think carefully about the war.

“I have no idea what the end of this reflection will be, but without it the country has no right to exist – like Germany after World War II. It’s Russia where we should have a denazification, not Ukraine,” she told Reuters television.

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There should also be a tribunal against Russian President Vladimir Putin and army generals and leaders, she said.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” to disarm and protect the country from fascists. It denies targeting civilians.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on her comment that de-nazification was needed in Russia, not Ukraine, and that Putin and his generals should face trial.

To help her escape house arrest, Alyokhina wore a delivery uniform, which her friend had bought online, and slipped through a back door of the building where she was staying, evading Russian police outside, she said.

“I went to another flat, which looked like a conspiratorial flat, without my cell phone,” she told Reuters Television.

Aljochina said her compatriots wanted change, but many feared being thrown behind bars for speaking out.

“A lot of people are really scared because now you can get up to 10 years in prison just for posting pictures from Bucha, just for posting this message,” she said.

Russian officials have said the new law to stop the deliberate spread of “fake” news is necessary to protect its military and combat misinformation about its military campaign in Ukraine.

Pussy Riot was rehearsing a new song about the war, Alyokhina said.

“We wrote it two weeks ago. It is against the war, against the war that Putin started against Ukraine. It is our statement and it will be performed as part of the concert,” she said.

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Reporting by Daria Shamonova; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Alison Williams

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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