Music

2.3.2016

Pussy Riot's "CHAIKA" Is Our New Russian Corruption Anthem

As much as we complain about the prospect of Donald Trump taking his fascism all the way to the White House, it could be worse. At least we don’t have a tyrannical prosecutor general, with ties to a notorious gang, running around torturing people (yet). Way over in Russia there’s a man doing just that, which is totally shocking given how accepting Russians are toward things like homosexuality, freedom of speech, and literally any other social issue. The baddest bitch in Russia’s prosecutorial circle is Yuri Chaika, and besides being the biggest symbol of corruption in Russia besides OG Putin, he’s the subject of a new song by the punk activist band Pussy Riot. With a base bumpin’ vibe interspersed with the sound of scratching vinyl, this is sure to be the next club banger in Russia’s torture chambers.

So why is this Chaika guy so universally despised? It all started last year when anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny and his team produced a documentary that links the prosecutor to a web of corruption, greed, and one of the most shocking massacres in recent history. Chaika’s powerful position in Russian politics has granted him and his sons untold freedom to create shady business empires, rig state auctions, and build lavish spa hotels in Greece. It all traces back to a gang called Tsapok, which was responsible for terrorizing a small town in the south of Russia through murder, kidnapping, and rape.

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Yuri Chaika, aka The Worst.

From those dark origins, a new Pussy Riot song has emerged, entitled “CHAIKA,” that offers up sharp criticism of the prosecutor general. In the accompanying video, produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, the Pussy Riot crew are dressed to kill in their best Russian government official outfits. As they bring their spoken word style to the song, the lyrics read like a spiritual sequel to Trump’s USA Freedom Kids: Be humble, learn to obey / Don’t worry about material stuff / Be loyal to those in power, cause power is a gift from God, son / I love Russia / I’m a patriot. Throw in some casual synchronized dancing while masked prisoners are tortured and tied up, and you have all the makings of the most biting satire in all of Mother Russia. Alongside the protest video, Pussy Riot has released a statement of demands:

“Pussy Riot demands an immediate investigation against General Prosecutor Chaika and his family, as well as against all the top officials in his office. We hope that the CHAIKA music video will help to convince people that we cannot live in a country where its top law enforcement official is the brightest symbol of corruption and murder. Pussy Riot hopes that people around the world will help us voice our outrage and turn Russia into a country where people like Chaika can no longer exist.”

The entire project has created a new talking point about the notorious corruption within Russia’s government, and has given the world even more reason to be critical of the world superpower. I mean, we thought it was bad enough having a country that tries to take over the world and purge the LGBT population from their land. Now we have this to grapple with too? While we wait to see what happens to Pussy Riot after this, we’ll be on the lookout for a protest song about the GOP frontrunners. Dixie Chicks where you at?

Stay tuned to Milk for more protest music.

Main image by Kathryn Chadason. Additional image via Meduza.

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