July 15, 2018 / 7:33 PM / a month ago

FACTBOX-The anti-Kremlin punk group behind World Cup pitch invasion

MOSCOW, July 15 (Reuters) - The World Cup final between France and Croatia in Moscow was briefly interrupted when three people affiliated to anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot ran onto the pitch before being hauled off by stewards.

Here are some details about the group:

* The all-woman protest group Pussy Riot gained prominence in 2012 when they performed a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s main Orthodox cathedral in a protest against President Vladimir Putin.

* Three activists were prosecuted for the performance on charges of hooliganism and inciting religious hatred.

* Activists Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova spent nearly two years in prison.

* They were released three months early in December 2013 under an amnesty to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia’s constitution.

* In February 2014, Pussy Riot’s activists released a music video criticising Russia’s staging of the Winter Olympic Games in the southern city of Sochi.

* The video included clips from an incident in Sochi when Cossacks beat activists with a whip as they tried to perform a song beside a wall covered in the Sochi Games logos.

* In 2014, activist Tolokonnikova helped co-found Russian website MediaZona which focuses on criminal justice news.

* In 2015, the group released their first song in English, a musical tribute to Eric Garner, an unarmed black man whose death in a police chokehold in the United States sparked wide protests against police violence.

* They recorded the song, “I Can’t Breathe,” in New York after a grand jury decided not to indict a white New York City police officer in Garner’s death. (Writing by Tom Balmforth Editing by Gareth Jones)

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