Flogging in the streets?

Members of an all-woman Russian band were recently whipped by neo-Cossacks during a protest in Sochi, not far from the Olympic competition grounds.

It’s a strange mash-up of two worlds: contemporary feminist and historic militia. In modern Russia, Cossacks tend to be members of nationalist militia groups who have adopted the distinctive garb of the Cossack ethnic group. Members of Pussy Riot, meanwhile, descended on Sochi to draw attention to President Putin’s iron grip on political and artistic expression. Raises a question: Who’s the fanatic?       —Diane Richard, writer, February 20


Image: Morry Gash/Associated Press

Source: ANDREW ROTH, “Members of Russian Protest Group Attacked by Cossacks in Sochi,” New York Times, February 19, 2014