Watch As Russian Security Forces Whip, Beat, Kick And Assault Olympic Protesters
February 19 / Eric Goldschein / SportsGrid
We haven't heard much in the way of disturbing overreach by the Russian authorities since the arrest of LGBTQ activists before the Olympic Games started in Sochi. But today, members of the infamous punk rock protest group Pussy Riot attempted to stage an impromptu demonstration, and within seconds were mercilessly beaten by Cossack militia acting as security forces.
The video is as confusing as it is horrifying. Though Pussy Riot has a history of antagonizing the Russian regime in general and Vladimir Putin in particular (two of its members were only recently released from a 21-month prison stint), this protest consisted of five women and one man wearing ski masks, dancing around under an Olympic sign. This apparently was enough of an insult to Russia/Vladimir Putin/the Olympics/Cossack culture to enrage the auxiliary security force into attacking the group with horsewhips.
The entire protest and subsequent beat down took about five minutes. It's disturbing, so be advised:
Members of Pussy Riot were detained earlier this week for questioning, and another demonstration by the group on Wednesday was observed by police but not interfered with. It's unclear why this protest, which took place 20 miles from the Olympic village, was worthy of such a violent response. True Sochi problems, folks. No hashtag, please.