Pussy Riot Doesn’t Think ‘Stupid Ape’ Donald Trump Has More Power Than Putin, and They Would Know

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She’s got a point. Photo: KAY NIETFELD/AFP/Getty Images

Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova spent two years in prison under Vladimir Putin’s regime and lived to tell the tale, so if there’s a formula for persistence worth following, it’s hers. She now tells Foreign Policy that, compared to Putin, defying Donald Trump should be a piece of cake. Sure, they both operate with the same “cave-man psychology,” but in Nadya’s eyes, Trump is the lesser of the two evils because he lacks Putin’s tyrannical force. “When they are angry, they lash out. For Trump, it is with tweets. Putin has more power, so he puts his enemies in jail. These are just the knee-jerk reactions of children acting out when they feel rejected or scared.” Trump may be a Putin imitator, but he’s still just a “stupid ape” as far as she’s concerned. “He is not a great revolutionary or an arbiter of a movement. He can’t change the country in one day,” she says.

But still, as any survivor of a dictatorship knows, dictators often aren’t taken seriously at the beginning. (“It’s important to remember that, for example, in Russia, for the first year of when Vladimir Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be okay,” she tried to warn Americans right after the election.) Tolokonnikova advises that to keep Trump powerless, the resistance must be as much of a “pain in the ass” to him as Pussy Riot is to Putin and “prepare to fight for [change] much longer than you think.” And if all else fails, make an elaborate music video trolling Trump and anticipate his Twitter vomit.

Pussy Riot Thinks Putin Is More Powerful Than Trump