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‘Pussy Riot’ members say they were targeted

on February 20, 2014 10:25 AM

SOCHI, Russia — Activists from the protest group Pussy Riot said that they were attacked Wednesday outside a restaurant in Sochi by Cossacks wielding horsewhips and nightsticks.

In modern Russia, “Cossack” generally refers to nationalist paramilitaries who adopt the style of the historic Cossack ethnic group from southern Russia and Ukraine. A number of Cossack paramilitaries have been deployed in the area of Sochi as auxiliary police officers for the 2014 Olympic Games.

Members of the group said in text messages that in addition to attacking them, the Cossacks pulled off their balaclava masks as they tried to perform and destroyed a guitar.

— New York Times News Service

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