This may be a case of overstatement, but six members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot have let it be known that Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the two band members recently released from Russian prison, are no longer part of their collective.

Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova have made public appearances in New York this week, visiting “The Colbert Report” on Tuesday and joining Madonna on stage at Wednesday night’s Amnesty International concert in Brooklyn. But as the BBC reported Thursday, the other six see the newly freed pair departing from the group’s mission, so they should formally separate from Pussy Riot as well:

The six members of the collective who signed the letter – Garadja, Fara, Shaiba, Cat, Seraphima and Schumacher – say they wish to remain anonymous.

They said that their group belonged to a “leftist anti-capitalist ideology” but that the pair had become “institutionalised advocates of prisoners’ rights”.

The letter read: “Unfortunately for us, they are being so carried away with the problems in Russian prisons, that they completely forgot about the aspirations and ideals of our group – feminism, separatist resistance, fight against authoritarianism and personality cult, all of which, as a matter of fact, was the cause for their unjust punishment.”

The remaining members also explained that the pair in question had participated in a legal performance, which runs contrary to their ethos. That said, the separation may already be mutual, as the letter pointedly stated that Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova “refuse to have any contact with us.”

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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