Russian TV Claims Exiled Tycoon Behind Pussy Riot

Alleges he's funding the band to destabilize Russian culture


A report broadcast Tuesday on the state-owned Rossiya 1 channel claimed to have found the mastermind behind the Pussy Riot controversy: Boris A. Berezovsky, the exiled Russian tycoon living in London. The second installment of "Provocateurs," a film by the journalist Arkady Mamontov, suggests that Mr. Berezovsky financed the punk band in order to destabilize Russian society.

The film quotes a Moscow-based religious activist, Alexey Veshnyak, saying that Mr. Berezovsky had been plotting the punk band's performance in Christ the Savior Cathedral since at least 2011, providing money and strategic guidance. Mr. Veshnyak says that Mr. Berezovsky shared his plans with him in London that February, pointing to photos of the band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and her husband, Pyotr Verzilov, and saying, "We will soon start acting in the church's direction."