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Pro-Kremlin activists go after Pussy Riot
02:04 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Video shows men in Cossack uniforms beating, pepper spraying band members

Attackers hit the women with batons, tore off their ski masks, the video shows

Police and Cossacks attacked them in Sochi, the group says

CNN is trying to get comment from Russian authorities

Sochi, Russia CNN  — 

A video released Wednesday shows members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot being beaten by security officials in Sochi as they tried to film a music video at the port of the city that is hosting the Winter Olympics.

The apparent attack happened just a day after band members Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, as well as journalists and Russian human rights activists, were detained for several hours at a police station located just a few miles from the Olympic Park.

A YouTube video of the new incident shows band members arriving at the port, surrounded by photographers. The women don ski masks in front of a Sochi 2014 sign and, as they began to perform, one band member is immediately pepper sprayed at close range by a man wearing the traditional headgear of the Cossacks.

Some of the women are then struck with a baton before several Cossacks descend on them, shoving and violently removing their ski masks. One of the band members is thrown to the ground by the security men, who also beat a photographer. After the women were beaten and walked away from the port, the security men are seen on the video shoving and beating two other men.

The band said it was trying to perform a new song called “Putin teaches us to love our motherland” at the main port in Sochi.

‘You sold yourselves to the Americans’

Uniformed Cossacks in traditional fur hats and uniforms have accompanied Russian police as a colorful addition to the massive security presence around the Winter Games.

Tolokonnikova said on her Twitter account that Cossacks beat the band with billy clubs and pepper spray.

Aisya Krugovikh, a member of the band’s entourage, said that during the altercation, some Cossacks yelled that Pussy Riot members should “shut their mouths,” adding “you sold yourselves to the Americans.”

CNN has repeatedly tried to contact Russian city officials by telephone and e-mail for comment on the allegations.

Among those apparently wounded in Wednesday’s clash was a Russian artist named Alexei Knyebnikovsky, who Krugovikh said was bleeding from the face.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina published photos on their Twitter accounts of bruises on Tolokonnikova’s chest and a man with blood on his face “after an attack by Cossacks.”

Tolokonnikova also tweeted she was at a Sochi hospital taking care of her husband, who she wrote had “lost vision” due to pepper spray from Cossacks.

The previous day, band members were detained by police, who said they were investigating a theft at the hotel where the band was staying.