Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – first in Madame Figaro’s list
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova became woman of the year, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro. The runner-up is the U.S. President Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama, and the third – the actress Meryl Streep.
Nadezhda was born on November 7, 1989 in Norilsk. She is also known as “Nadya Tolokno”. She is a Russian political activist, a member of the anti-Putinist punk rock group Pussy Riot.
On August 17, 2012, she was convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and sentenced to two years imprisonment.
She is married to Pyotr Verzilov and has a four-year-old daughter, Gera, whom they named after the Greek goddess Hera. She has Canadian permanent resident status and her husband is a dual citizen of Canada and Russia.
Tolokonnikova has been a member of the Voina collective since 2007. Tolokonnikova was part of a performance in which couples were filmed having sex in the Biology Museum in Moscow in February 2008 which has been called an “orgy” by the media.
In 2010, Tolokonnikova was among the Voina activists who attempted to release live cockroaches into the Tagansky Courthouse. She also took part in a series of actions, Operation Kiss Garbage, from January through March 2011. This project comprised female members’ kissing policewomen in Moscow metro stations and on the streets.