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But few details had emerged until Alyokhina arrived in New York, when one independent Russian publication ran a bombshell feature detailing the unlikely love affair between a culture-policing Christian extremist and a blasphemous Pussy Rioter.
“He’s kind of a homophobe,” Alyokhina says of Enteo, smiling nervously and dragging on a cigarette outside the theater. “For example what he said about LGBT flags—” her friend starts to reply but Alyokhina interjects in Russian. “It’s complicated,” Alyokhina tells me, as if to translate, then heads inside for rehearsal.
They successfully convinced Putin to sign their legislation into a law that carries up to a year in prison, though it doesn’t clearly specify what qualifies as offense.
The night Enteo went to Alyokhina’s, they spent five hours talking and watching videos of the activist work that he’d done.“He was quite happy to talk about himself,” she says with a grin, admitting that she thought he was “quite funny.” “There were some hard moments for me, because if someone is showing such videos with pride, well…” She stubs her cigarette and goes on: “I believe that there is a reason for hatred, and if we want to push away hatred we should understand the reason why it’s happening and show that there’s another side.
Indeed, when Pussy Riot was on trial in 2013, Enteo and other members of “God’s Will” gathered outside Russia’s Ministry of Justice and called for Pussy Riot to be imprisoned.
Alyokhina laughs when I mention this at dinner: There was no trickery.
, a touring protest play with the underground Belarus Free Theatre. She’d just woke to a media firestorm in Russia over her romantic relationship with Dmitry Enteo, founder of a far-right activist movement called “God’s Will.” The ultra-religious Orthodox group had recently expelled Enteo because of his relationship with Alyokhina.