Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Russian political activist and musician

Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova (Russian: Наде́жда Андре́евна Толоко́нникова, IPA: [nɐˈdʲeʐdə təlɐˈkonʲːɪkəvə]; born 7 November 1989), nicknamed "Nadya Tolokno" (Надя Толокно), is a Russian conceptual artist and political activist. She was a member of the anarchist feminist group Pussy Riot, and has a history of political activism with the controversial street art group Voina. On 17 August 2012, she was convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" after a performance in Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. On 23 December 2013, she was released early with another Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina under a newly passed amnesty bill dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Russian constitution.
Tolokonnikova was recognized as a political prisoner by the Russian human rights group Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners. Amnesty International named her a prisoner of conscience due to "the severity of the response of the Russian authorities".
On 30 December 2021, Russia's Ministry of Justice added Tolokonnikova to its list of "foreign agents".

I definitely have much more respect to those people who make moral choice not to be silent and go and express their position, whether it`s on the streets or on the Internet.
Use your voice while you still can use it, because maybe tomorrow you`re not going to have it anymore.


When we were jailed, Pussy Riot immediately became very popular and widely known, and it turned from just a group to essentially an international movement.
People underestimate how dangerous dictators are. ... You cannot play nice with Putin.
  • When we were jailed, Pussy Riot immediately became very popular and widely known, and it turned from just a group to essentially an international movement. Anybody can be Pussy Riot, you just need to put on a mask and stage an active protest of something in your particular country, wherever that may be, that you consider unjust. And we’re not here as the leaders of Pussy Riot or determining what Pussy Riot is and what it does or what it says. We are just two individuals that spent two years in jail for taking part in a Pussy Riot protest action.
  • I think the most fascinating fact about Ukrainians, and I hear it from them, is that they’re never going to give up. A lot of Ukrainians have said that Putin was expecting them to give up the control of the country to him. But that didn’t happen. They just have this spirit of, “This is our country. This is our baby.” And I really think that the president of Ukraine, Zalenskyy, is doing really, really well. He refused to leave Kyiv and he said, “We’re just going to defend it.” And they’re achieving amazing results.
  • The global community was extremely complacent, and I see two reasons: hypocrisy, based on greed.
    People would make statements that they did not support Putin’s politics, and his oppression of the political opposition, and the wars that he started… But at the same time they would continue doing business with him. ... People underestimate how dangerous dictators are. In 2014, we spoke to the UK parliament, we spoke at the Senate in the US, we were asked by a lot of people how they should talk to Putin, how they should frame the conversation, and I always advised that they should be as strict as they could.
    You cannot play nice with Putin.
  • Vladimir Putin became intimidated by Ukraine choosing the path to freedom and democracy. That's why the Russian army bombs maternity wards, schools, hospitals, rapes and kills civilians and throws their bodies in mass graves. Putin and everyone who supports him are dead inside and they must be defeated.
  • Vladimir Vladimorovich: The Kremlin walls became your prison walls. You have already lost. You know it. That's why you are so afraid. You lost in spirit. The world is on Ukraine's side. The world is with the people of Ukraine.

Quotes about Tolokonnikova

  • Dealing with the Russian government is not new for the rocker. Tolokonnikova took part in a protest inside of Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in 2012, after which she spent almost two years in prison. The protest aimed at criticizing the Russian Orthodox Church's close ties with President Vladimir Putin. Two other members of the band were also imprisoned after screaming, "Mother Mary, please drive Putin away."...Individuals and entities labeled as "foreign agents" are required to submit regular financial reports and detailed lists of their income and spending. They must also display a disclaimer on all articles, social media posts and other publications that say, in part, "This Message (material) is creted and (or) distributed by a foreign mass media performing the functions of a foreign agent..." Tolokonnikova wrote on social media that she will not be marking anything as described above and will dispute the label in court.
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