Pussy Riot to Colbert: Putin's Just a 'Shirtless Man on a Horse'

Illustration for article titled Pussy Riot to Colbert: Putin's Just a 'Shirtless Man on a Horse'

Last night on The Colbert Report, Stephen interviewed Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina, the two members of Pussy Riot who were recently released from Russian prison after spending a total of 16 months in the country's penal colonies, all for the crime of performing a protest song in a church.

Whenever Colbert interviews someone through a translator, there's always the worry that his character and jokes will fail to transfer to another language and culture. Luckily, that wasn't the case with Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, both of whom had amazing senses of humor about their harrowing experiences.

This exchange was particularly enjoyable:

Colbert: Vladimir's a friend. I'm gonna edit out anything bad you say about him. I want you to know that.

Tolokonnikova: That's okay, we're making our own taping right now.

Colbert: You will be searched before you leave the building.

Tolokonnikova: We've had two years of practice hiding things from searches.

In between jokes, the women repeated time and time again that they do not fear Putin and that they will continue to fight the injustices currently happening in Russia. When asked by Colbert why they were so against Putin's idea of bright and shining future for the country, Tolokonnikova wryly replied, "We have different ideas about a bright future, and we don't want a shirtless man on a horse leading us to that."

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The whole interview — in two parts — is well worth a watch.

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DISCUSSION

I was watching CNN at work yesterday, and Putin came on tv petting a baby leopard. I started laughing and a student asked me why I was laughing and I said "Putin is petting a baby leopard. As one would." He didn't get it, but it made my evening.