The International Olympic Committee (IOC) called Thursday for the Winter Games not to be used “as a political platform” after the Russian punk group Pussy Riot performed in front of the Olympic rings in Sochi in a new video critical of the Kremlin.

A video also showed the group being attacked during the performance Wednesday by members of the Cossack militia who are helping patrol Sochi during the Winter Olympics.

“Personally I found the video and pictures very unsettling but I know that the Krasnodar governor has apologised and expressed his regret about what happened and has launched an investigation,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

“It happened in Sochi but it was unrelated to an Olympic venue and was not, as far as I know, a demonstration against the Olympics.” The group Thursday released the video of them in balaclavas singing the song “Putin will teach you to love the motherland” in which one member of the Cossack militia is seen using a whip as others try to disrupt the performance.

Adams said the incident was “a civil issue” and that Krasnador governor Alexander Tkachyov has “expressed strong unhappiness with what happened and has expressed his desire to get to the bottom of it.” The IOC had said this week that Olympic venues were not the place for political demonstrations.

Asked about the use of the Olympic rings by Pussy Riot, Adams said: “It is a shame if the Olympics is used as a political platform.

“That is what we have always said. We urge people and ask that the Olympics is not used as a platform for people to express political views.” Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were released in December after spending almost two years in prison for performing a protest song against Russian president Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral.

On Tuesday they were detained in Sochi, reportedly for a theft in their hotel, and later released without charge.

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