Pussy Riot Speaks From Prison: 'Did Auschwitz Have VIP Death Lounges?'

Members of Pussy Riot Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina — who are currently serving time for hooliganism and acts of vandalism — have finally managed to release a statement to journalists thanks to questions from GQ's Michael Idov that were smuggled in and out of their Russian prison by the band's lawyers. (The third incarcerated member Katya Samutsevich had her answers confiscated.) While recent comments by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sparked hope amongst supporters that the women would soon be released, the bandmates themselves remain less than positive on their outlook.

Of their verdict and Putin's government, Nadya Tolokonnikova comments:

"This verdict is so dumb and cruel that it removes any lingering illusions about Putin's system. It's a verdict on the system."

The bandmates also discussed the horrible conditions of the Russian prison where they are serving out their sentence, divulging that their blankets are taken away at 6am every morning and the only way to keep warm is to cover yourself with a coat.

Says Tolokonnikova:

"Right now we're in hell here. It's hard living in a place where everyone can hate you because of something they heard on TV. That's why every gesture of support is so important and so much appreciated."

As for reports that they're receiving VIP treatment in prison, Tolokonnikova says:

"Did Auschwitz have VIP death lounges? If yes, then I suppose you can call our conditions VIP treatment."

Pussy Riot's next court date is October 1st.

Pussy Riot: The Jailhouse Interview [GQ]