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February 20, 2014 12:32 PM Speed of Video

By Ed Kilgore

Julia Ioffe is right: whatever Pussy Riot lacks in a coherent agenda or leadership, it sure excels in the use of social media.

Just yesterday, Pussy Riot was being whipped by Cossacks while shooting their new music video. This morning, it’s already out. The Cossacks, it turned out, just added excellent color for a song that talks about the repression of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Ioffe also offers a translation of the song lyrics:

$50 billion and a rainbow ray
Rodnina and Kabayeva will pass you the torch
They’ll teach you to submit and cry in the camps
Fireworks for the bosses. Hail, Duce!
Sochi is blocked, Olympus is under surveillance
Special forces, weapons, crowds of cops
FSB - argument, Interior Ministry - Argument
On [state-owned] Channel 1 - applause.
Putin will teach you to love the Motherland.
In Russia, the spring can come suddenly
Greetings to the Messiah in the form of a volley from
Aurora, the prosecutor is determined to be rude
He needs resistance, not pretty eyes
A bird cage for protest, vodka, nesting doll
Jail for the Bolotnaya [activists], drinks, caviar
The Constitution is in a noose, [environmental activist] Vitishko is in jail
Stability, food packets, fence, watch tower
Putin will teach you to love the Motherland
They will turn off Dozhd’s broadcast
The gay parade has been sent to the outhouse
A two-point bathroom is the priority
The verdict for Russia is jail for six years
Putin will teach you to love the Motherland
Motherland
Motherland
Motherland

Gotta say, the Russian language strikes me as excellent for punk messaging.

If you go to the YouTube page for the above video, you will see Pussy Riot’s disparagers are reasonably nimble, too. Would be interesting to know how many are on the Russian state payroll.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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