Activist Maria “Masha” Alyokhina was released hours ago, and she has already performed the first post-prison action on behalf of her activist art collective/feminist punk “band” Pussy Riot. She lit fireworks outside of her hard penitentiary colony in tribute to her fellow prisoners, as documented by Reuters but explained by Masha herself to Rain TV over a Skype video call of the action about six hours ago. Getting ready to light the fireworks, Masha said:

I think this is going to be my good-bye to the penitentiary colony. I promised the women I would say good-bye to them, but unfortunately I couldn’t… This is going be fireworks. You’ll see right now. It’s going to be a salute… I think these women will be happy that they see something so bright.

Here’s an animated screen grab of RainTV’s call with Masha:

And then, there is a bright, red light. Masha smiles through the smoke. The Russian government discussed a ban on fireworks in 2008. There have been raids on illegal fireworks just this year with the regulations intensified specifically in anticipations of the Olympic games, all aimed to subvert “extremism,” allegedly.

ANIMAL reported earlier that Masha did not want to be released from the labor camp and attempted to refused Putin’s amnesty. She was released in a rush, escorted into a black government vehicle and driven to a train station before she could say good-bye. The first thing she did after the release was meet with a human rights group Committee Against Torture. Before leaving on a train to for Moscow, she came back to the prison to perform the action. In statements made immediately after their release, Masha Alyokhina and Nadia Tolokonnikova did not express any gratitude for Putin’s supposed gesture of mercy. Both activists said they are “not afraid of anything anymore” and condemned Putin’s amnesty as a “lie” and a “disgusting” “cynical” “propagandist” “PR move.” Masha and Nadia announced plans to fight for the rights of prisoners. Nadia Tolokonnikova specifically called for a boycott of the Olympic games.

Masha has just arrived in Moscow and will soon be leaving on a plane to meet Nadia in Siberia. ANIMAL is rounding-up live-updates here. (Lead image: Reuters