A letter by an imprisoned member of the Russian punk performance group complains of brutal living and working conditions in a provincial labor camp.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of the Russian punk rock group 'Pussy Riot,' declared that she was going on a hunger strike to protest the harsh working conditions in prison.
But critics say that his high-profile, flamboyant appearances echo the old Soviet-era practice of using sympathetic foreign celebrities to reflect well on the government.
Fleeing France's high taxes for Russia's flat 13 percent rate, the French actor spoke of Russia in glowing terms during a high-profile meeting with Vladimir Putin over the weekend.
The lawyers for the two jailed members of Pussy Riot withdrew on Monday, saying the politicization of the case was impeding their ability to represent their clients.
Pussy Riot to prison colony: Two members of the band Pussy Riot were each transferred from a Moscow jail Maria Alekhina was sent to a prison colony in the Urals and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was sent to a prison colony in Mordovia.