Facing the prospect of jail time in Russia, Pussy Riot activist flees the country in what she calls a "big 'kiss-off' to the Russian authorities".

In September, Alyokhina was sentenced to a one-year restricted movement while protesting in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny.
In September, Alyokhina was sentenced to a one-year restricted movement while protesting in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny. ()

Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina has left Russia after disguising herself as a food delivery courier to escape the police.

Alyokhina joins thousands of Russians who have fled their country since President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on February 24.

In September, Alyokhina was sentenced to a one-year restricted movement while protesting in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, but in April authorities moved to convert her sentence into real jail time.

In an interview with the New York Times late on Tuesday, Alyokhina, 33, described how she dressed up as a food courier to avoid the Moscow police that were staking her out and left her cellphone behind so she couldn't be tracked.

Then a friend drove her to the border with neighbouring Belarus and a week later she managed to cross into EU member Lithuania after several attempts, according to the interview.

Raising money for Ukraine?

"I was happy that I made it, because it was an unpredictable and big 'kiss-off' to the Russian authorities," she told NYT.

Her partner and fellow Pussy Riot member Lyusya Shtein posted a photo of Alyokhina on Twitter, dressed in a green Delivery Club uniform and wearing a food delivery backpack.

Shtein tweeted that Alyokhina "did not flee Russia, she has gone on tour" to raise money for Ukraine that will start with a concert in Berlin on May 12.

She posted a photo of them together on Wednesday that Shtein said was taken in Iceland.

Shtein, a municipal deputy in Moscow, was also sentenced to restricted movement over Navalny protests but in April she fled Russia, posting a video of herself cutting off a police anklet monitor.

According to NYT, she also used the food delivery disguise to escape Russia.

A veteran member of the Pussy Riot feminist group, Alyokhina spent two years in prison for taking part in the group's 2012 protest performance in neon balaclavas inside Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies