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Vladimir Putin and the Pussy Riot

Updated on July 21, 2012
Supporters
Supporters
Pussy Riot  promo
Pussy Riot promo
In Jail
In Jail

Free speech has never been a strong suit for Russia. Even after their democratic reforms years ago, they only have a quasi-free speech system.

Russia's new president, the old Vladimir Putin, ex-KGB agent, still Beatle fan, seems to have a problem with Russia's female rock-punk band, Pussy Riot. Of all the people, Putin, who use to listen to The Beatles secretly in his room on the BBC and Radio Free America as a teen, surely would understand that rock music is free. Yet, when it comes to political elections, free speech in Russia was suspended.

Back in February, before the Russian presidential elections, Pussy Riot, wearing mini skirts and balaclavas seized the pulpit at the Christ The Savior Cathedral, yelling, " Mother Mary drive Putin away" many times as the danced in a cancan, high kicking style dance. Putin had three of them arrested and tossed in jail and charged with "performing a punk prayer" against himself and hooliganism. The three women, in their 20's and have children, were tossed in jail and have been there since. They still have not had a court hearing. They could get seven years in prison!

The first hearing happened last week and during it prosecutors asked the judge to keep the women in jail for another six months until trial. The defense asked they be released to take care of their kids.


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    • Josak profile image

      Josak 

      5 years ago from variable

      All of the women jailed have a string of other convctions including assault, assault on a police officer, disruption of the court (when they released boxes of cockroaches in the court), public indecency and obscenity (for having sex in public on a protest), property damage etc. etc. and now hooliganism.

      The Russian government has been very tolerant thus far but I guess the judge decided he had had enough, two years is very excessive but in the US they would be facing jail time too, in fact would probably already be in jail, past conduct counts towards sentencing.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      5 years ago

      which decisions?

    • forbcrin profile image

      Crin Forbes 

      5 years ago from Michigan

      You guys are both right, however you are talking about at different Universe with a different set of rules, and with different moral standards...

      On the other hand, have you ever looked at some of the decisions our judicial systems makes in this country, which are as political at this one? Yet, no one is up on their arms...

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      5 years ago

      I agree with nick.

    • Nick Hanlon profile image

      Nick Hanlon 

      5 years ago from Chiang Mai

      Fobricin...2 years for singing a song in a church?No one was hurt.If you take over a church in the U.S. and do a protest you might spend a night in the cells but that's about it.Are you seriously comparing Putin's Russia to America in terms of free expression?

      Russia is not a particularly religious country,except that the church is in cahoots with Putin.that's why Pussy Riot did what they did.the church presumes that it alone can speak the truth because it is part of the state.Study the French revolution and understand why we westerners are so suspicious of state sponsored religions.Why should we respect a religion if it doesn't respect us?

    • forbcrin profile image

      Crin Forbes 

      5 years ago from Michigan

      "Free speech has never been a strong suit for Russia."

      I totally agree with you there, however this time I have to say that you are wrong.

      Free speech is one thing, doing what those immature girls did is vandalism.

      They are not in trouble for expressing their views against Putin, which by the way I am in total agreement with them, but they could have done it in a different place not in the main church of Russia.

      I am not a church going person, I am not a religious person, however I like to respect everyone's faith. What they did is not a political protest it is as they said hooliganism.

      They were allowed to do it all over the place for a few months, and as a matter of fact as a person born behind the Iron Curtain I was surprised at the way they handled the situation. It was something new for that part of the world, and I was surprised that Putin with his KGB background played by the rules.

      But, let's not forget, Russia has always been a religious country. Communism did not allow it, however they never shut it down and there were plenty of people keeping their religion.

      I wonder how would the US react to protesters taking over Washington Cathedral and turning it into a wild circus to protest the war in Afghanistan or GTMO which is still open after promises to be closed...

    • Nick Hanlon profile image

      Nick Hanlon 

      5 years ago from Chiang Mai

      We wrote a song about this called ''Punk Rock Dictatorship''.We'll upload it sometime next week or so once we've done the mix.PUNK IS NOT DEAD.IT'S JUST GONNA SIT IN A JAIL CELL FOR A WHILE.Make your own Free Pussy riot T-shirts.Write in to the Russian embassy.Write blogs on the internet about it!Show your support for non-violent free speech thru non-violent free speech.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      5 years ago

      The female band just were sentenced to two years in jail for hooliganism. WTF.

    • CHRIS57 profile image

      CHRIS57 

      5 years ago from Northern Germany

      This is not about music, the Beatles or Punk Rock.

      I am very puzzled about what is going on in Russia right now. Both, Putin and Medvedev came from St. Petersburg, being in one way or the other related to Sobchak, former major of the city. While Medvedev earned his merits by being a legal advisor for Sobchak, Putin has strong ties to the KGB. What is often overlooked is the collaboration between the Russian army and the KGB.

      And here things start to get difficult. Is it Putin who is responsible for the human rights mess or is it someone else. I think Putin is too smart to get the Pussy Riot suit and other human rights issues into the way in international relations. That leaves it to the muscle showing of the Russian military. The pattern fits the primitive straightforward demonstration of power. And recently Russian TV media brought a humiliating showdown between the Military and Medvedev.

      Question is: Is Putin in power and responsible or is he only a puppy?

    • Nick Hanlon profile image

      Nick Hanlon 

      6 years ago from Chiang Mai

      Hey we wrote a song called Punk Rock Dictatorship about this sort of stuff.

    • Steve Orion profile image

      Steve Orion 

      6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Sad that such activities are deemed prison worthy! It also makes me feel a bit better than I live where I do and can't be jailed for my musical preference and nor can my favorite artists!... mostly. Quasi-free speech system, indeed!

    • quatrain profile image

      quatrain 

      6 years ago

      No surprise that Putin would not be in favor of a girl punk rock band. He probably sees them as a threat to his need for total control.

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