She abandoned her cell phone to avoid being tracked, put on a green food delivery suit and achieved what she set out to do: escape from an increasingly repressive Russia with opposition to the policies of its president, Vladimir Putin. Maria Alyokhina, known as Masha, leader of Pussy Riot, has managed to leave her country after two failed attempts.

The escape of the visible head of the musical group that most irritates the TsarPutin has had all the elements of a spy movie. She herself has recounted her deed to the New York Times, in an interview granted from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

Exactly 10 years after the performance in the Moscow cathedral, which brought her international fame and permanent persecution, Masha listened from her cell to a fiery speech by Putin that would lead, three days later, to the invasion of Ukraine. It was a before and after in her life, she had promised to stay in Russia, no matter what, but that anticipated a future that was too dark.

A month ago, someone hung a sign on the door of the apartment he shares with his girlfriend, Lucy Shtein, also a member of Pussy Riot, which read: “Traitors.” She managed to leave the country, also disguised as a delivery girl, but Alyokhina failed to cross the border between Belarus and Lithuania.

Deprived of her Russian passport while under house arrest for “Nazi symbology” after posting a plea for the release of political prisoners on Instagram, she was on Russia’s most wanted list. Belarusian border guards detained her at the border and later returned her to Russia. She tried again, without success. But the third time she was the charm.

An Icelandic friend convinced a European country (which remains secret to avoid a diplomatic crisis) to issue a document allowing Alyokhina to travel, a type of visa that guaranteed her a status similar to that of an EU citizen. He smuggled the document into Belarus. Once in her hands, the Pussy Riot leader boarded a bus to Lithuania. “It has been very magical,” he admits to the American newspaper, “like a spy novel.”

The activist has not spared criticism of Putin, of whom she says that the West has a wrong vision: “From here it looks like a great demon, but it is very disorganized when you see it from the inside,” she says, “the right hand does not know what it does the left hand”.

The members of Pussy Riot have been meeting in Vilnius to prepare their European tour, which will start on May 12 in Berlin and will aim to raise funds to help Ukraine.

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https://www.elmundo.es/internacional/2022/05/11/627b47cbe4d4d8ac6d8b4580.html

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