Julia Ioffe is right: whatever Pussy Riot lacks in a coherent agenda or leadership, it sure excels in the use of social media.

Just yesterday, Pussy Riot was being whipped by Cossacks while shooting their new music video. This morning, it’s already out. The Cossacks, it turned out, just added excellent color for a song that talks about the repression of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

YouTube video

Ioffe also offers a translation of the song lyrics:

$50 billion and a rainbow ray

Rodnina and Kabayeva will pass you the torch

They’ll teach you to submit and cry in the camps

Fireworks for the bosses. Hail, Duce!

Sochi is blocked, Olympus is under surveillance

Special forces, weapons, crowds of cops

FSB – argument, Interior Ministry – Argument

On [state-owned] Channel 1 – applause.

Putin will teach you to love the Motherland.

In Russia, the spring can come suddenly

Greetings to the Messiah in the form of a volley from

Aurora, the prosecutor is determined to be rude

He needs resistance, not pretty eyes

A bird cage for protest, vodka, nesting doll

Jail for the Bolotnaya [activists], drinks, caviar

The Constitution is in a noose, [environmental activist] Vitishko is in jail

Stability, food packets, fence, watch tower

Putin will teach you to love the Motherland

They will turn off Dozhd’s broadcast

The gay parade has been sent to the outhouse

A two-point bathroom is the priority

The verdict for Russia is jail for six years

Putin will teach you to love the Motherland




Gotta say, the Russian language strikes me as excellent for punk messaging.

If you go to the YouTube page for the above video, you will see Pussy Riot’s disparagers are reasonably nimble, too. Would be interesting to know how many are on the Russian state payroll.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.