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Punk star condemns Russia's military intervention in Ukraine

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Mar 04, 2014 | 1:09pm EST

Pussy Riot star Maria Alyokhina has condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for sending armed troops to the troubled Crimea region of the Ukraine, comparing his actions to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The outspoken punk rocker, who was freed from prison in December (13) after serving time for performing a protest song against Putin, has penned an opinion piece in The New Republic, urging Russian citizens to take a stand against the government in a bid to encourage politicians to do the right thing. Alyokhina is convinced that if nothing is done to put a stop to the military intervention in Crimea, which has been denounced by political leaders in Europe and the U.S., Putin will be allowed to take control of the former Soviet Union country and quash Ukrainians' calls for political change and alignment with the European Union. She writes, "Those who have accepted the verdict to live their lives in passive oblivion will repeat history and its mistakes. In this way, standing at the brink of war under banners of a struggle for peace, Russia is repeating 1968." Slamming Putin and his government's apparent tactics to divide and conquer, Alyokhina adds, "The difference between Russia and a penal colony is that in a penal colony your sentence is decided upon by the state, but in Russia we should decide how long we will live like this. Otherwise, the world will watch as the Kremlin will increasingly resemble a prison watch tower, which, on behalf of the Russian Federation, will issue commands, commands to send in the troops." The invasion of the former Czechoslovakia occurred months after the Prague Spring, a brief period of political reform during which the nation was led by the liberal Alexander Dubcek, who wanted to democratise the nation.

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