Pussy Riot member placed on Russian wanted list after escape

In March, Lucy Shtein escaped from house arrest in Russia by disguising herself as a food courier.

 Russia's regime critical punk music group Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Lucy Shteyn attend a band rehearsal, after Alyokhina escaped a house arrest in Russia, in Berlin, Germany May 11, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/ANNEGRET HILSE)
Russia's regime critical punk music group Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina and Lucy Shteyn attend a band rehearsal, after Alyokhina escaped a house arrest in Russia, in Berlin, Germany May 11, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/ANNEGRET HILSE)

The Russian Internal Affairs Ministry placed Lucy Shtein, a member of the art and protest group Pussy Riot, on its wanted list on Monday after she fled from Russia amid the country's invasion of Ukraine.

The ministry stated that Shtein is wanted under an article of the Criminal Code, but did not specify which law she had broken.

In March, Shtein escaped from house arrest in Russia by disguising herself as a food courier, according to The Guardian. “We have become so used to delivery couriers roaming Moscow, so it was a foolproof way to escape," Shtein told the British newspaper.

Her girlfriend, Maria V. Alyokhina, fled Russia in April with the same disguise, according to The New York Times. Alyokhina was placed on the wanted list later that month.

 Diana Burkot, Maria Alyokhina and Olga Borisova, activists and members of Russian punk music group Pussy Riot, critical of the country's regime, perform during the band's anti-war concert tour, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Shedhalle concert hall in Berlin, Germany May 12, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/ANNEGRET HILSE) Diana Burkot, Maria Alyokhina and Olga Borisova, activists and members of Russian punk music group Pussy Riot, critical of the country's regime, perform during the band's anti-war concert tour, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at Shedhalle concert hall in Berlin, Germany May 12, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/ANNEGRET HILSE)

Shtein was convicted last year by a court in Moscow for allegedly inciting people to break coronavirus regulations and sentenced to a year of restricted freedom of movement. She had posted about a protest in support of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

According to RBC news, Russian authorities had recently begun checking her Twitter posts on suspicion that she was spreading "deliberately false information" about the Russian armed forces.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Russian authorities have cracked down even harder than usual on any criticism of the government or military. In March, the Russian parliament passed a law banning public actions and speech "discrediting" Russia's military and banning the spread of "fake news."

Alyokhina told The New York Times that she does not "think Russia has a right to exist anymore. Even before, there were questions about how it is united, by what values it is united, and where it is going. But now I don’t think that is a question anymore.”

On April 8, Shtein posted a video on Twitter of herself cutting a tracking bracelet off her ankle, writing that "parting is a small death, but I am forced to prematurely break off relations with the Russian Federation."

“It felt liberating to finally take off that electronic ankle tag,” Shtein told The Guardian. “Out of reflex, I still put on my socks as if the tag is there. And I still get shaken when I hear someone knocking on my door.”

Shtein and other members of Pussy Riot have been repeatedly arrested by Russian authorities in the past decade as they expressed strong criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.