Without any trace of pomp or circumstance, Russian authorities sent the two members of Pussy Riot still in custody to a couple of far flung prison colonies on Monday. Now, we already knew that Pussy Riot was heading to Russian prison camps, and we also knew that Russian prison camps were not very pleasant places to hang out. What we did not know, however, was that Russian authorities would send Pussy Riot to the most horrible prison camps in the country. We're not talking Putin-era horrible, either. We're talking Stalin-era horrible. And they're stuck there for two years.

"Nadya Tolokonnikova has been sent to Mordovia, and Maria Alyokhina to Perm," the punk rock band's lawyer Violetta Volkova said on Monday. Mordovia is about 400 miles east of Moscow, where both women have children and other family. Perm is close to 900 miles away. The distance isn't really the issue. The issue is that these camps are some of the few remaining that resembled the days of Stalin's Gulag camps, when political prisoners were sent to far reaches of the Russian empire and never heard from again. We don't mean to imply that Pussy Riot is going to disappear into the barren tundra of Siberia, but we are pretty sure they're going to miserable for many months.`

Like we've said before, these Russian prison camps are pretty terrible places. At these camps, the guards make you exercise outside in sub-zero weather. They feed you gruel. They force you to work on sewing machines all day long. In a statement, Pussy Riot said that they're being sent to "the harshest camps of all the possible choices." The art group Voina called Mordovia "the worst prison hell there is." Marina Lapenkova from the AAP offered more detail about Alyokhina's new home. "The Perm region, where temperatures can fall as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius in winter, housed Stalin-era labour camps, one of which has been turned into a museum about the history of political repression," she explained. Lapenkova's not kidding. These are literally the camps where Stalin sent dissidents to die. 

In a sad way, we have to admit that everybody saw this coming. The Pussy Riot saga is one marred by the Russian government bringing bazookas to a stick fight. Or to put it another way, the Putin regime brought oppressive Soviet-style work camps to a sentence that would've warranted a minimum security prison in any other country. Let's just hope they bring warm jackets and reading material, too. Pussy Riot will need them.