Russian punk group Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, in the blue balaclava, and Maria Alekhina, in the pink balaclava, make their way through a crowd after they were released from a police station, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Adler, Russia. No charges were filed against Tolokonnikova and Alekhina along with the three others who were detained. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Cossacks use whips on Pussy Riot members

February 19, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) Cossack militia attacked the Pussy Riot punk group with whips and removed members' trademark ski masks in the Olympic host city on Wednesday.

The group had gathered in a downtown Sochi restaurant, about 30kms (21miles) from where the Winter Olympics are being held. They ran out of the restaurant wearing brightly colored clothes and ski masks and were set upon by about a dozen Cossacks, who are used by police authorities to patrol the streets.

The group tried to start performing, but a Cossack smashed their guitar. The incident lasted less than five minutes and one Pussy Riot member, a man, was left with blood on his face, saying he was pushed to the ground. Police arrived and questioned witnesses. No one was arrested.

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