Thursday January 17th, 2019 2:23PM

Pussy Riot says member has left Russia, despite ban

By The Associated Press
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MOSCOW (AP) — The Pussy Riot punk collective says one of its members has departed for Britain, despite being banned from leaving Russia.

Maria Alekhina had said she was turned back by Russian border police Wednesday when she tried to leave the country for a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe festival based on her book.

But on Thursday, the group said on Twitter that she "has found a way to escape, and she is flying to Edinburgh right now!"

Russian authorities explained the ban move by claiming that Alekhina had failed to perform her community service. Alekhina was sentenced to 140 hours of community service for protests outside the Moscow headquarters of the Federal Security Service, the top KGB successor. In December, she unfurled a banner reading "Happy Birthday, Hangmen!" and in April she threw paper planes to protest the agency's demand to shut the messaging service Telegram.

Alekhina and Pussy Riot bandmate Nadezhda Tolokonnikova spent nearly two years in prison for a 2012 protest inside Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

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