It has been barely a month since a "punk service" of the group Pussy Riot in the Church of Christ the Savior in Moscow, the girls have become a lighting rod of criticism from self-professed defenders of the Russian orthodox church. Three of these girls are now in prison, and face up to seven years behind bars. Meanwhile, the church insists that they are facing a planed anti-religious and anti-Russian conspiracy, because there were journalists prepared to cover the event on hand.
|The three faceless protesters who have been jailed.|
I noted the over-the-top reaction of the Russian Orthodox Church after the punk service. The vehemence of the attack cannot be understood through the flawed logic of those representatives who used this occasion to favorably reflect on the Bolsheviks, who had blown up the original Cathedral in 1931. Recall, instead, that the title of the song performed in the punk service was "Holy mother, drive Putin out!". If the girls sang "Holy mother, save Putin" the reaction of the church, I assure you, would have been muted. The girls have exposed themselves to Putin's revenge under the guise of defending the Russian Orthodox Church.
This case is producing a strong resonance in Russia, and has invigorated the opposition, which has been depressed since Putin's comfortable reelection. In places as far as Novisibirsk (deep in Sioberia) the light-boxes for ads were filled with styled "icons" depicting the Holy Mother wearing a purple balaclva.
|In Pussy Riot we trust in Novosibirsk. The Holy Mother wearing|
a balaclava in the style of Pussy Riot.
Prior to his reelection, Putin extending his maximum tolerance of the opposition. Now, however, the arrested girls are likely to pay a heavy price for their antics. Putin can make an example of them while supposedly keeping his hands clean - and letting the Church lead the prosecution.
The hand of politically motivated justice can be heavy indeed. On March 17th, in Belarus a couple of random dudes were executed based on a highly dubious connection to a terrorist attack in the Minsk subway on April 2011. Someone has to pay for the sacrilege - an old Russian truism. As an added bonus, the Russians have the actual perpetrators, not mere scapegoats. Unless the public outcry grows stronger, these unorthodox protesters and their young children will pay a heavy price for desecration of Putin in a church.