Shouts of “Putin is the real Pussy” and “Vlad steals V-cards” echoed off the steel barriers of the Russian ambassador’s residence in downtown D.C. Friday as protestors advocating on behalf of imprisoned Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot expressed their ire with the Kremlin.
The passionate protestors gathered as part of a demonstration organized by the Center for American Freedom (CAF), a not-for-profit advocacy group that publishes the Washington Free Beacon.
“Come on out!” bellowed CAF Chairman Michael Goldfarb, who was holding a sign calling on the Russians to free the three members of Pussy Riot, the all-female Russian punk rock band sentenced to two years in prison Friday on charges of hooliganism. The women were protesting against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s increasingly authoritarian rule.
“Putin’s the real pussy,” read another sign.
Two uniformed Secret Service officers who were present outside of the Russian ambassador’s residence stood guard during the 30-minute demonstration, ensuring that events did not spiral out of control.
“Are you planning on getting arrested today?” asked one of the police officers as protestors peacefully marched.
Onlookers along 16th street in downtown Washington D.C. snapped pictures from across the street as the demonstrators cried, “Free Pussy Riot now.”
Putin “put a band in jail?” asked one curious onlooker as she inspected the protestor’s signboards. “I think that’s not right; it’s unfair and people need to do something immediately.”
One Russian official briefly stepped out of the ambassador’s compound to inspect the situation, but quickly retreated back inside as marchers raised their voices in protest of the Kremlin’s crackdown.
As the protestors elevated their signs in front of the Russian compound, two unidentified persons entered into the residence, unsuccessfully attempting to avoid eye contact with the marchers.
Opposition forces in Moscow have accused Putin of waging a personal war against Pussy Riot, according to reports. Backers of the embattled group chanted “Shame” outside of the Russian courthouse where the trio was sentenced, according to Reuters.
The United States questioned the sentence Friday, asking that it be reviewed, Reuters reported.