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Published on Mar 3, 2013
Cossacks interrupted a performance of 'The Moscow Trials' in Russia's capital on Sunday in protest against a dramatic reconstruction of the trial of punk rockers Pussy Riot. After crowding outside Moscow's Sakharov Centre, the Cossacks stormed the building. Although some Cossacks managed to get inside the Sakharov Centre, the play was still staged.
Shortly before the Cossacks' interruption, Russian immigration police also brought the performance to a halt, demanding to see the visa documents of the play's Swiss director, Milo Rau, who they say is not permitted to engage in 'work activity' on his current visa. The play was delayed for an hour as the director's papers were checked with no formal punishment issued beyond a verbal warning.
'The Moscow Trials' is a dramatic reconstruction of last year's trial against three singers in the feminist punk band following their protest staged in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior, for which they were accused of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred'.
Sunday's performance was attended by Catherine Samutsevich, a Pussy Riot member released on appeal and featured in the show; artists Elena Volkova, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Alexei Belyaev-Gintovt and Dmitry Enteo; journalist Maxim Shevchenko and American author David Rieff, the son of the late Susan Sontag.