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Pussy Riot claim to have conducted World Cup pitch invasion

A pitch invasion during the World Cup final between France and Croatia was carried out by the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot, its social media accounts have claimed.

The brief invasion in the second half of the match was quickly addressed by security staff – and stands as one of the few remarkable political protests during the tournament.

The invaders were later detained by police, one of them told the Reuters news agency by telephone from a police station near Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, where the match was held.

The invasion featured two women and a man dressed in police-style uniforms who ran onto the field. A fourth person tried to run onto the pitch but was tackled on the sidelines.

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Stewards remove a pitch invader during the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
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Stewards remove a pitch invader during the World Cup final

The social media accounts for Pussy Riot claimed to have been behind the stunt, which was meant to draw attention to what it said were human rights abuses in Russia.

In a statement, the band explained that the stunt was in honour of the death of Dimitriy Prigov – a poet and dissident during the Soviet era.

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The band’s page stated: “Prigov created an image of a policeman, a carrier of the heavenly nationhood, in the russian culture.”

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Dejan Lovren of Croatia confronts a pitch invader during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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Dejan Lovren of Croatia confronts a pitch invader

“The heavenly policeman, according to Prigov, talks on the two-way with the God Himself. The earthly policeman gets ready to disperse rallies.”

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Stewards drag a pitch invader off the pitch during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Stewards drag a pitch invader off the pitch

“The heavenly policeman rises as an example of the nationhood, the earthly policeman hurts everyone.”

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Stewards drag a pitch invader off the pitch during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The invasion took place in the second half

The post demanded that political prisoners be freed and “illegal arrests” at rallies be stopped. among other things.

Band member Olga Kurachyova told Reuters she was among those who ran onto the pitch during the game and was detained.

Pussy Riot rose to global prominence in 2012 with their outdoor performances which were critical of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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