Pussy Riot Criticizes Oliver Stone for Vladimir Putin Interview

AP Photo/Axel Schmidt
Pussy Riot members Masha Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

"It was very obvious that he is very comfortable in this position and he doesn’t want any critics," said member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of the Oscar-winner's friendship with the Russian president.

Pussy Riot took to the stage in a typically riotous way, unfurling posters with slogans "No Riot – No Pussy" and "Patriarchy is Boring" during their presentation at Cannes Lions on Thursday. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and a balaclava-clad Sasha Adler also handed out their signature brightly colored face masks and gave the audience a spontaneous class on protest and activism.

Audience members were tasked with creating their own protest signs and displaying them for the camera that projected them on stage in the Palais' Lumiere Theater. 

They also expressed their support for Bernie Sanders in the United States. "He's rocking, and I think he will be the next president of the United States," said Tolokonnikova.

The pair, along with spokesperson Peter Verzilov, were at the ad confab to search for financial support for their 4-year-old alternative news site Mediazona. Verzilov appealed to the crowd with stats that rank the start-up site as the 10th most visited news site in Russia, ahead of some state media outlets.

As far as Donald Trump's presidency in the United States, she said: "I don’t even like to say his name because he really likes when people say his name, this guy that's the president, it's like the C-word but it's the T-word."

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Tolokonnikova said she skipped the recent Megyn Kelly interview because Putin is well-known for avoiding questions. She went on to criticize Oliver Stone for his four-hour special on the Russian leader.

"He's a well-known leftist and some Western leftists, unfortunately for me because I'm a leftist, think the enemy of your enemy is your friend," she said. "I think he's part of the global oligarchy and it's pretty weird to me that a person who is supposedly supporting the left like Oliver Stone would interview Vladimir Putin."

"He believes that someone should oppose American exceptionalism and American imperialism, and I think so too; I think there are ugly features of American contemporary politics and it wants to be the global policeman starting proxy wars – but that is exactly what Vladimir Putin is doing," she said of Stone.

"He is completely closing his eyes to the facts of inequality in Russia, and he's talking to a man who has made a small circle of his friends billionaires, and he's not asking those questions," she said of Stone's interview where he "comfortably forgot" any hard questions.

She said she met Stone six months ago, and he was "upset" because she didn't support Putin. "It was very obvious that [Stone] is very comfortable in this position and he doesn't want any critics, so there wasn't really any ground for discussion."

Tolokonnikova also said that American media is focusing too much on Russian interference in the American election. While she believes it's true, the media is making it appear as if the Russian leader has direct influence on the United States. These stories are being used to further bolster his image and project strength in Russia, she said. 

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