Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolonnikova Shares What WNBA Star Brittney Griner Will Likely Face in Russian Penal Colony

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolonnikova spent two years in a Russian prison for speaking out against Vladimir Putin.

In a new video, the musician talked about what WNBA star Brittney Griner will likely face as she is sent to awful conditions in a Russian penal colony.

After five months of staying in a Russian prison, Griner was recently moved to a remote Russian penal colony, which is much worse than the “normal” prison facilities. She is slated to serve 9 years for being caught with cannabis in the country.

Currently, the United States, which says Griner is being held there unlawfully, is working with the country to free her. But no progress has taken place yet.

Russia, of course, is in an ongoing war with Ukraine after Russia invaded the country. The West, including the United States, is helping Ukraine, which makes Griner something of a political pawn.

“I think it’s going to be specifically difficult for Brittney,” says Tolonnikova in the video, which you can see below. “Because she doesn’t know the Russian language. And she cannot learn about the law that she has to obey in a penal colony. And she cannot protect herself.

“Your morning starts from a scream: [Russian], which means ‘Get up whores!’

“In Russian penal colony, you wake up at 6:00 a.m. then you work for 16 hours a day. You sew police uniforms. They turn all the prisoners against you. They will punish everyone else in the penal colony—let’s say take away their warm clothing from them—and they will tell them openly that it happened because of her. This all happened because of Brittney.”

Photo: Matthew Eisman/Gettyimages

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