Judgment Day for ‘Pussy Riot’


To read the profound and moving translated closing statements of the three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, click here.

With closing statements complete, all that’s left is the verdict in the trial of the all-female Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot, which has captivated the world and again put Vladimir Putin’s tyrannical machinery on full display for the whole world to see.

The three women — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23; Ekaterina Samutsevich, 29; and Maria Alyokhina, 24 — are accused of donning ski masks and performing a concert that mocked the Orthodox church, religion, and Vladimir Putin from inside the confines of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, a crime in Putin’s Russia. The story gained world-wide attention when the prosecutors sin the case stated their intention to seek three years in prison for each of the accused.

The trial wrapped up last week and the verdict is due later this week. Each of the three defendants took the stand in their own defense as part of the defense’s closing argument. They often gave impassioned speeches. One band member referred to the world-wide attention in her own closing arguments. “The whole world is saying that we are not guilty. They talk about it at concerts, on the internet, in the press and in parliament. The whole world is saying ‘they’re not guilty!’” said Ekaterina Samutsevich.

At other times, the proceedings took on a “Braveheart” like quality, with the ladies believing their trial served as a larger referendum on freedom and liberty in Russia.

“This is a trial of the whole government system of Russia, which so likes to show its harshness toward the individual, its indifference to his honor and dignity,” said Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in an impassioned statement. “If this political system throws itself against three girls, it shows this political system is afraid of truth.”

Celebrity singers from all around the world have spoken out against this case and in solidarity with the three Russian singers. Last month, Sting issued this statement:

It’s appalling that the musicians from Pussy Riot could face prison sentences of up to seven years in jail. Dissent is a legitimate and essential right in any democracy and modern politicians must accept this fact with tolerance. A sense of proportion – and a sense of humor – is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Surely the Russian authorities will completely drop these spurious charges and allow the women, these artists, to get back to their lives and to their children.

Madonna referenced the case during a concert in Moscow late last month. During a performance, she wore a punk rock outfit, turned around, and revealed the words, “Pussy Riots” on her back. She then told the crowd, “I pray for their freedom.”

The court is in an unusual pause. Rather than issuing the ruling immediately, the judge in the case decided to wait until Friday August 13 at 3PM Moscow time to issue the ruling.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • http://twitter.com/slavixtube @slavixtube

    Western msm, politicians and pop starts are falling over themselves praising and protecting the degenerate hooligans of Pussy Riot. This is no accident. I suggest you read this article on west's obsession with Pussy Riot.

    Western media concealing facts about female punk band’s desecration of Russian cathedral
    http://bit.ly/Pc9fcJ

    It’s A Culture War, Stupid | Why is west obsessed with Pussy Riot or what is Putin Derangement Syndrome http://bit.ly/NoIUTV

  • Anthony

    So total human freedom means calling your band a vulgar name “Pussy Rioy”, and intentionally entering a sacred house of worship to engage in sacreligious behavior the pres dubs ” a punk mass” as if there was such a thing, and the stupid media types think this is ok because Putin is so bad.

    I hope these immature and perverse women are thrown in jail for a while, and I wish if it happens, it serves as a warning against anti-religious bigotry mixed with Western style subversive acts designed to disrupt social harmony.

    As far as Putin’s Russia, that’s their business, the Russians. Do we want Russia to experience a ” Russian Spring”? Does Putin’s really seem any worse than most strongmen the US (and comerade Obama) currently ass kisses and bows down to?

    One by product of America’s influence is the export of The idea that total self expression and Immersion into a multicultural anti-tradition swamp is he highest virtue. America is spreading both error and a sick culture globally that is suicidal to he Western tradition and cultures hat don’t want it and don’t need the distinction it creates.

    “Pussy Riot”? With a name like that, and the disgusting act they did in a Cathederal, yet no one in the conservative media questions this because it serves to bring Putiin into a bad light. I am glad Putin is pushing for their punishment.

  • davarino

    Do they really have the right to go into a church and do what they did? The punishment is a little harsh, but did they have a right to disrupt a church that is on private property? If they really wanted to tweek Putin, why didnt they show the guts they supposedly have and do it in Red Square?

  • BS77

    is this story important? these women remind me of the infantile Occupy mob types…yes, the sentence is tough, but that's their system….

    • https://www.facebook.com/flynn.mcmahon Flynn McMahon

      Agree. I wouldn't support them if they were Americans and did that sort of thing here so why should I get all "free speechy" about what they did there. I'll bet if we offered them some sort of amnesty/asylum here the first thing they would do would be to do exactly the same in one of our churches and then complain about how oppressive we are.

  • Katharina

    Courageos my foot! I can bet that these Christian-hating punk rioters won't dare to jump around and denigrate the MOSQUE – most atheists love to attack Christianity but hey, Islam, they would cowardly leave it alone ! These punks want free speech – let's see them do it in the MOSQUE too! And let's not forget that Dictator/Islamic Nazi Muslim Brotherhood-loving/Saudi-king bowing/War Criminal Obama and his evil REGIME love democracy so much that they're ARMING savage Dictator/War Criminal Saudi-Qatar royals-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood GENOCIDE of non-Arabs in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Mali and now, Syria (next will be Lebanon), , ROBBERY of their oil/wealth/mineral/land and torture including the use of child-soldiers. So 'democracy' my foot!

    • http://iamiranaware.wordpress.com/ IranAware

      Lay off the coffee, you make zero sense…

      • Katharina

        Lay off whatever yourself – and you might stop mumbling nonsense!

  • Soloview

    The moral of the Pussy Riot trial is simply this: You may s–t with impunity in a Christian cathedral in London, England (as the "occupy" protesters last year in St. Paul's), but you may not scream obscenities in a Christian cathedral in Moscow without getting arrested. Forget the talking heads and freedom-loving idiots for a moment ! Suppose, you were a Christian in Russia, a country where the national church survived seventy years of hostility and supression by the commies. Would you say to Putin: It's no big deal; let them go ?!! Probably not !
    Now think about this: maybe, just maybe, having some respect to Russia's cultural traditions is the reason you will not see someone like Huma Abedin telling Lavrov what Russia should and should not do in the world !

    • David

      "Soloview ", or whatever your name is, your "Russian Orthodox Church" is nothing but a bunch of ex-KGB informers, intolerant bigots and, well, morons. Soviet Union was never an atheist state but a deeply mystical and religious one where a person was required to sacrifice himself for the sake of others ( crucifixion) and live for the sake of glorious Communist tomorrow ( life after death). Bolsheviks were simply afraid of competition.
      Also, "hooligans" used to get 15 days of prison in the old Soviet Union, not 7 years of hard labor, like in Putin's Russia today. Russia is a theocracy (closely resembling Iran) with a little mix of Statism .

  • Springerjoe

    The last line said that they were waiting until Friday, Aug 13th to issue a ruling. I guess that is only in Russia, as the 13th of August falls on a Monday everywhere else in the world.

  • Anthony

    To the author of this article, Michael Volpe, how do you rLeconcile radical anti-decent behavior with strongman rule? Does the ends justify the means? Does a homogenous grey world with pervert activists trump the reality of mostly human rights conscious Russia today?

    Volpe, as an Italian, your name is synonymous with Nancy Pilosi. But do you ” Feel” good?

  • 2012

    This was a publicity stunt. Any increase in revenue that these “artists” receive should go to the Orthodox Church. That includes income from music sales, books, TV or anything else that came as a result of this stunt.

  • kblink45

    Did any of you read the statements of the accused?

    What they were protesting wasn't religion. In fact, they are at great pains to demonstrate respect for religion. What they protest is the use of the church's architecture and symbolism to project a false sense of tolerance and grandiose historicity by Putin.

    It is abundantly clear that the trial and sentencing have very little to do with religion or general disorderly conduct and everything to do with political speech.

    What these girls did would be protected speech in America, or it should be… and I don't agree with them on every particular. I only agree with their right to freedom of speech, and of political speech in particular.

  • David

    Russia is a prime example why we have separation of Church and State in America.

    My dad, whose musical tastes have never ventured outside of easy listening realm once commented on Madonna's music. This was back in early 1990 in Russia and he and I were watching her perform in Spain. The song that he commented on was non other then "Like a prayer" which had , ironically, landed her in hot water i
    n the United Sates. He said, "Only people who are free are able to create music like that." I wholeheartedly agreed. Madonna could easily add my father to the list of her fans that day.
    Enter Russia, the year of 2012. A totalitarian, theocratic regime with a healthy dose of Statism, where church and state, once again, are one and the same, much like in the good old days. Where a mock prayer in defiance of Vladimir Putin will land you in jail with blessings from Russian Orthodox Church.
    Love her or hate her, Madonna deserves respect and recognition from all the freedom-loving people for defying Russian authorities and displaying her support for the members of Pussy Riot, a punk-rock group that have been sentenced to 3 years in prison (reduced from 7).
    Members of Pussy Riot have found out the hard way the cost of defying the authorities and Russian Orthodox Church. Their mock prayer in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior would, in most civilized countries, cost them a healthy fine and, possibly, a brief detention for trespassing. Not in Russia. The were charged with "blasphemy" but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that it was just a pretext. Their real crime was one of defiance. They dared to challenge Vladimir Putin himself. And in Russia today it is the most serious of crimes.