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Forum Post: Pussy Riot sentence: How did it play in Russia?

Posted 1 year ago on Aug. 19, 2012, 5:09 a.m. EST by bestevidence (170)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

It went over like a roast pork knish.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2012/0818/Pussy-Riot-sentence-How-did-it-play-in-Russia

The Pussy Riot punk band's harsh sentence drew swift Western condemnation. More important for Putin will be how it influences the views of Russians, especially the elite.

By Fred Weir, Correspondent / August 18, 2012

14 and 46 Share on stumbleupon Share on email MOSCOW One day after three young members of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for profaning a Russian Orthodox altar, the controversy over what they did and how the Russian state reacted to it shows every sign of growing.

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A judge said three women of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot were blasphemers and sentenced them to two years in prison on Friday for staging a protest against President Vladimir Putin in a Russian Orthodox church. There seems little doubt that the trial and the harsh sentences handed down to the women will worsen the image of Russia in the West, and particularly the credibility of Vladimir Putin, who has just completed the first 100 days of his third term as president. Many governments, including the United States, have condemned the sentence as disproportionate, and celebrities from Paul McCartney to Madonna have weighed in with their support for the group.

But international opinion can often have a negative impact in Russia. How the trial and its outcome have affected Russian public opinion may play a much bigger role in coming months, as the anti-Putin protest movement returns to the streets after a summer hiatus and the political season begins anew.

Public opinion has remained rather staunchly anti-Pussy Riot since the women were arrested in March. The latest poll, released last week by the independent Levada Center in Moscow, shows little change.

According to the survey, 55 percent of Russians did not have their views of the judicial system altered by the trial; 9 percent said it diminished their trust in courts while 5 percent said it increased it, and 12 percent said they have no faith in the courts to begin with. About 36 percent thought the verdict would be based on the facts of the case; 18 percent thought the verdict would be dictated "from the top." Interestingly, when asked what they thought the punk band's goal was in staging the protest, about 30 percent of respondents said it was "against the church and its role in politics"; 13 percent thought it was "against Putin" and 36 percent said they could not discern the purpose.

More worrisome, from the Kremlin's point of view, is the effect the trial has had on Russia's more educated and influential social strata. Of course the usual suspects – opposition leaders, artists, liberal intellectuals – have popped up to protest the treatment of the women, who were kept almost six months in pretrial detention and now face more than a year in the harsh conditions of a Russian penal colony.

But unease over a prosecution that carries such obvious political and religious overtones appears to be spreading far beyond Russia's small liberal and opposition circles.

RELATED: Putin 101: How much do you know about the Russian president? Take our quiz.

Former finance minister Alexei Kudrin, a longtime member of Putin's inner circle who was fired by then-President Dmitry Medvedev last year, wrote on his website that the verdict deals "yet another blow to the court system and citizens' trust in it.... The country's image and its attractiveness in the eyes of investors have suffered an enormous damage," he wrote.

http://rt.com/news/victory-putin-exit-polls-839/

15 Comments

15 Comments


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[-] 2 points by ComeTogetherNOW (650) 1 year ago

This reminds of some old discussions,,,,,yrs ago...in Patriotic Fever....As seeked the War..............flexing our muscle

Flag burning in the USA ignites not just the flag. The Repugnant Ones have tried making laws on this one for decades. It was a political firecracker of how far we should go while waging a full out War On Drugs while smoking the earth we live on. I always imagined it ending up a hail of bullets coming from everywhere, blood, guts, a real spree.

Our world is filled a$$hats that have some real hang-ups on symbols, and Ideas of fancy. Just look at it as entertainment as they clash over things they have no idea of, just which the hell fantasy are we on now. I have my secret decoder ready. Does Kenneth have the frequency?

Thank God for Pussy Riot. The nut house is the EARTH.

Revolution of Mind.

Come Together NOW

[-] 1 points by timirninja (263) 1 year ago

leave it alone. Germany is american ally. why don't you attack German democracy? http://rt.com/news/pussy-riot-cologne-cathedral-463/

[-] 1 points by bestevidence (170) 1 year ago

Germany outlaws certain religions and also outlaws certain political/historical concepts. Let's go liberate them.

[-] 0 points by timirninja (263) 1 year ago

i recently had visited afropunk festival. seems like they doing great! Pussy Riot is not just a music, skill or love - is wacko quacko shit, another word - paid opposition. Before you start argue, let me know your position about Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, former Marine Brandon J. Raub and their connection to democracy. tell me a little bit about them in one sentence

[-] 1 points by bestevidence (170) 1 year ago

Manning and Assange exposed crimes of the US government to the world and thus Manning is in a torturous imprisonment and the US is maneuvering to get its hands on Assange for possible execution while Raub seemingly was victimized for his thoughts.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Sounds like a democratic republic to me.

NOT.

[-] 0 points by bestevidence (170) 1 year ago

Well, no where in the constitution or the declaration of independence is there any mention of democracy and in fact the framers were rather hostile to the notion. Yet the leaders of this country frame their demands on other countries in terms such as that they must implement "democracy" US style.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

When I hear the term "spreading democracy" it reminds me of a plague, or some invented strain of a new virus. In God we trust. Hah!

[-] 1 points by mserfas (652) from Ashland, PA 1 year ago

Though the discussion seems always to focus on the Putin angle, I think what this verdict really illustrates is that you need to implement freedom of speech completely, without reservations, in order to maintain a well-functioning democratic society. There are probably a lot of people even in the U.S. who don't really see what would be wrong with having some law against blasphemy, against deliberately offending people. Why not punish trouble makers who want to burn Korans or spit and trample on communion wafers? But when you look at the effect of the nearest parallel case to Pussy Riot's protest, the 1989 Act Up "Stop the Church" protest in New York, history has shown that it really was a watershed moment that helped the country finally get serious about fighting the epidemic. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_Coalition_to_Unleash_Power#.22Stop_the_Church.22 ) And while it may have tended to legitimize criticism of the Catholic Church, that wasn't a bad thing - the precedent contributed to a movement for critical evaluation to force the church to get its act together about things like protecting children from predators. Sure, the country could have gotten along without those benefits, but there would have been a cost. And the cost of censorship and injustice is generally very high.

I would like to hope that Russia still has a people who want to be free, who simply do not have much experience with the pursuit of freedom and can still learn to organize and repeal laws like this.

[-] 1 points by bestevidence (170) 1 year ago

Well my friend the Russian people have nothing - not one little thing - to learn from the USA about democracy, or rule of law.

[-] 2 points by mserfas (652) from Ashland, PA 1 year ago

You know that's an exaggeration. Despite all the terrible efforts being made to undo it, the U.S. has a long, proud, if woefully incomplete tradition of defending free speech rights. Note that our "Stop the Church" protesters were never jailed, for example. When Terry Jones started burning his Korans, yes, Big Capital cracked down and revoked his church's insurance, thereby its mortgage, and closed it, but the government didn't - he's still on YouTube today burning his books, soliciting donations, and running as an independent presidential candidate. And as a result our society doesn't have to deal with the number of hate crimes that would inevitably result if people, especially Jones' kind of people, truly believed that they couldn't say a bad word about Islam without getting hauled off to jail. (though obviously we have some terrible incidents even as it is) We can teach the Russians plenty, but it wouldn't hurt for us to review and refresh ourselves from our own textbooks.

[-] 2 points by bestevidence (170) 1 year ago

When we have a real independent competent investigation of the events of 9/11 and when we bring to book those who stole two presidential elections and when we imprison those who wrecked our economy we might maybe then have something to teach.

[-] 0 points by Trek19 (3) 1 year ago

Gee, how times have changed.

[-] 0 points by bestevidence (170) 1 year ago

The Act Up action was bold and courageous. They had the strength of being right on their side. Thanks to them lots has been done to save the lives of perhaps millions of people. Their action has little in common with working with the State Department to destabilize and enslave Russia. I still dare anyone to do the same thing here where it is more called for than in Moscow.

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