The anti-government punk collective Pussy Riot appears determined to show Russian President Vladimir Putin that they're not afraid to stand up against him. About as determined as the Kremlin is to keep the band members quiet. 

Yesterday, two members of the punk activist collective Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, among others, were briefly detained by police for "theft" ahead of a planned protest demonstration. Today, a video uploaded to YouTube shows the determined members of the band being thrown to the ground, beaten with whips and struck with what looks like pepper spray or mace seconds into a performance. 

According to a description provided by RT, the footage shows "members of the scandalous Pussy Riot band... attacked by people in Cossacks uniforms, with batons, pepper spray and whips, as the young women attempted to perform a song near the seaport in the Olympic host city, Sochi." Members of the band said they were at Sochi's main port to shoot a music video for protest song "Putin teaches us to love our motherland."

The Independent reports that the six performers — five female and one male — were attacked by at least 10 men dressed as Cossacks. Modern-day Cossacks are not actually soldiers or law enforcement officers (or even descendants of the actual Cossacks who fought against the Russian state for centuries,) but operate more like thuggish vigilante groups, often deployed by local authorities to do what actual policemen can't. Like beat up protesters in the street. 

The male member of the group emerged from the incident with a bloodied face, and the others suffered bruises and other injuries. Alyokhina and others tweeted out some images after the event: 

Vice Reporter Simon Ostrovosky witnessed the event and described the scene in a series of tweets:  

The group's lawyer, Alexander Popkov, told USA Today that three members of the band have been hospitalized with injuries sustained during the attack. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is not showing the group much support. IOC spokesman Mark Adams said any anti-Putin protest staged would be considered "wholly inappropriate," adding, essentially, that the conflict between Pussy Riot and the Kremlin is not the IOC's problem: 

We've shown time and again we're very happy and taken action where we think there are problems related to the Games and we've gotten results. In instances where there are complaints related to the Games we are pretty happy and confident we're getting and seeking responses from the organizing committee. Where it happens in wider Russian society or the rest of the world, I'm afraid that is a matter for other organizations whose competency lies there.

Band members Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova recently returned to Russia from a global human rights tour, where they spread the word about poor prison conditions in their home country. Both spent nearly two years in jail on "hooliganism" charges after they performed an anti-Putin song in church, and both emerged from the experience determined to continue fighting against the leader.