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Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome".

News Propaganda: Journalism Vacation from Truth Recommended Links The patterns of Western coverage Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Color revolutions
Fifth column Compradors Bombing country with dollars Interference of foreign agents into election process via NGO Media as a weapon of mass deception Fighting Russophobia  
Neocolonialism Machiavellism Predator state Understanding Mayberry Machiavellians Russian compradors Net hamsters Creative class
Fifth column and NGOs The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness Human rights activists or globalism fifth column IntelliXencia: Corruption of Intelligensia and it usage in fifth column in Russia Frustrated underachievers Humor Etc

The use of Disinformation, the deliberate manipulative tactic to create, out of whole cloth, a great lie with the deliberate intention of destroying reputations of men, peoples, countires, faith groups, and institutions, is well, staggering. No country or organization was immune to their attacks. Ability to create a a dramatic story is an important part of that art.

In case of Pussy Riot (PR) the whole artificial reality superstructure was created by Western Press, the superstructure that has nothing to do with reality and is an amazing example of propaganda art. Even authors of a seminal pieces of Cold War propaganda like Rocky IV would tip their hats in silent admiration of skills demonstrated... With the exception of the names, gender and age of the participants most presented facts about PR were simply untrue ;-).  To fight potent and invisible weapon, we must first recognize it for what it is and decode its hidden agenda, since it is usually clothed in innocuous news reporting. And attempt to check fact are not that easy for those who do not know Russian language as for some reason major MSM across Atlantic looks like twin brothers in covering the topic.  Kind of globalization of disinformation art, if you wish. Or implementation of the maxim  "close-air-support covereth a multitude of sins"

I think there is a need to assign a clinical term for the Guardian coverage of the event. Something like Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome. The "girls" (actually a second rate porno stars, some with criminal past) were actually a plain vanilla clone of Ukrainian “Femen” (financed by Jed Sunden and others).

The notorious PR action in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February 2012 can be viewed from two angles (and might actually have two almost independent components):

From this point of view, if we interpret thier action as protest against clericarisation, all they deserve a 15 days detention often used in Russia for administrative (not criminal!) cases of hooliganism. But anti-theocratic overtones of their action does not mean that they can be declared prisoners of conscience. Because they don’t have the conscience. See also National Post and The Daily Beast

But I think that  PR stunts in the Cathedrals (not a single, but several) was hooliganism, no matter what "defenders of freedom" try to tell us.

BBC was somehow involved in this provocation. At least they did make a footage of the rehearsal (so they were at least informed even if not financed the provocation). It's unclear who sponsored the 51-second “punk prayer” and were the foreign money involved, but this stunt has Gene Sharp color revolution marks all over. It have installed amplified to the level of international even by known foot solder of propaganda war in New Yorker and TIME. Witch hunt in best traditions of  McCarthyism was started and nobody was investigating what actually happened, who were the players and, especially, the key question "Who benefitted? ". In other words this was another albeit farcial case of "Weapon of mass descruction" possesed by evil Saddma regime. History repeats first as tragegy and then as farce. Cliches like "Putin’s regime, "Russian tyranny", etc were all fling like bombs on Iraq.  In other words it was a textbook case of preplanned launch of West-unleashed propaganda war. And those three female idiots were the foot solders, hired mercenaries, who were sacrificed on the "altar of freedom".  And they were understood by Russian society as such, that's why they got prison term, which was pretty uncommon punishment for such misdeeds.

And then the lest turn of spiral of propaganda war started: Free Pussis as it they were Mahatma Gandhi in balaklavas ;-). That would be funny if it was not so tragic. People were manipulated with ease that were the common only under totalitarian societies.

The key question is what are the net benefits for the USA and their Western partners in supporting those questionable "girls" and questionable protest. IMHO that it actually harms the US as ardent support of "pussies" in Western Press generated huge wave of anti-Americanism in Russia. If somebody wanted to harm the USA image in Russia it would be difficult to achieve a better results. And while I doubt that Miriam Elder (aka "UK dry cleaning specialist in Moscow") cares, but reading English pro-Russian blogs give me an impression that Guardian would do best recalling her back to London for incompetence.

In any case, it does not make much sense to deny that in case of "pussies" Russia in now under well-coordinated, pre-planned, extremely well-financed and pretty destructive propagandist attack. The attack launched in all types of media in G7 countries. The attack directed at regime change, the attack which while featuring some interesting "innovations" still falls within the methods discussed in Gene Sharp textbook of  staging the color revolutions. At least the part connected with demonization of Putin and his government is directly borrowed from color revolutions playbook. 

It is important to note that "pussies" actually fell victims of this campaign too: after Western campaign was launched, "pussies" were doomed for more severe punishment then they probably deserved. And, please remember, the women involved are the same who were previously photographed and documented having an orgy (moreover, at the time Tolokonnikova was eight month pregnant) in a public museum. The orgy that became an instant hit on major porno sites. When Western propaganda started to use them as a banner, this sad episode come into forefront again. In a way it was West which put them in jail, as it was naive to expect that they would remain free after all this insinuation about Russian society and authorities in Guardian (probably not without some three letter agencies generous help) and similar MSM. So the girls were put ageinst the wall of public opinion and like they like to say in the USA the situation for them became "If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime."  So they became really (slightly modifying Amnesty International definition) “prisoners of their sick conscience.”

All-in-all this was really a first class provocation which probably will now be included in all "color revolutions" textbooks. I heard that a film will be created about it (Watch a clip). And two co-producers even managed to get to Jon Stewart show. In defense of US public  I would say that this episode generated uncharacteristically for Jon Stewart unsympathetic comments (which is amazing taking into account the amount of brainwashing and uniformity of foreign event coverage by US MSM, which remind me Pravda and Izvestia uniformity):

bluefire 4000

It is now illegal in lots of public places to have a peaceful protest if it isn't scheduled and in the designated "protest area" (usually far away from whatever or whoever the protest is about). By the way, I'm talking about the United States here.

Brain32

What they did is not democracy it's hooliganism and disrespect, waaaaay to much stupidity today comes through under excuse of democracy, that is sad as is this propaganda against Putin and Russia...I did not expect this from TDS.

But while it impossible not to admire about the sophistication and evilness of the provocation and the subsequent campaign of its support in Western press, it remain to be seen whether it was a success or failure. And whether this advances Western position in Russia establishment or not. One thing is currently clear. It did generated huge backlash against West interference and as a result two "pussies" ended in jail. Also the whole society became allergic to Western interference and that opened the path to adoption of laws that limit propagandist activities of Western NGOs. Recently USAID was simply kicked out.  We might consider it as a connected event, a blowback.

There are some interesting patterns in Western coverage of this, now classic, propaganda episode (the art of propaganda by omission):

  1. After their role in looting Russia after 1991 no Western state has any moral right to teach Russia how to live. People never accept sermons from crooks and gangsters. And especially from people who economically raped them

  2. Those are "professionals", hired protesters on salary. Neither Tolokonnikova and Versilov, nor other members have any sources of income other then their protest activities. This is a great similarity with FEMEN:

    A Ukrainian 1+1 journalist who claimed (in September 2012) to have infiltrated FEMEN stated FEMEN’s office in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, allegedly costs the movement over $2,500 monthly and each member’s salary was around $1,000.[116] The journalist also claimed that a trip to France cost the organization 1,000 per day per activists.[117] 1+1 also claimed in September 2012 that "an agent who works with them" had told them FEMEN activist could be hired "from 40 thousand to hundreds of Ukrainian hryvnia (the national currency of Ukraine)" and that while in France FEMEN key activist[3] Inna Shevchenko had bought shoes for €800.[118]
  3. The sex orgy in the Museum is never covered (see SEX ORGY IN A MUSEUM! ). Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich participated in sex orgy, in which five or six couples were filmed having sex in the Biology Museum in Moscow in 2008. So in a way the correct definition for those girls is "porno stars" (see Nadezhda Tolokonnikova / Nadya Tolokno - Free Porn & Adult Videos or NSFW- Nude orgy pregnancy photos of the hot girl from Pussy Riot ). Here what you can find in blogs, but never in MSM. Hanna and Horovitz, Nadya Profile

  4. The fact that Tolokonnikova and Peter Versilov were members of Voina (with their "Frozen Chicken Fuckers" stunt) and extent of their activities in the outlawed extremist group was never covered

  5. Peter Versilov dubious past was never covered. Nor the reasons for Versilov was expelled from Voina group (stealing from arrested friend) was never mentioned.

  6. Negligence toward the daughter by Tolokonnikova (who almost died as a result of head trauma from falling from a table on which it was put to sleep in  reckless, criminal abandonment of elementary safety precautions) was never covered

  7. Presence of BBC journalist at rehearsals, and subsequent recall of this journalist from Russia was never covered.

  8. The fact that Western pop stars were paid $100K euro for support of PR was never mentioned, except in French press.

  9. No attempt to find and expose backers of PR for which girls has become "useful idiots" The "performance" was indirectly aimed at destabilizing Russian government. Among usual suspects is power struggle within the Russian government with one tower of Kremlin fighting another with the help of western backers.

  10. The difference between Art and extremism is never discussed. PR unconditionally is called punk band, although they have zero musical talent and they were never even close to standards required for a high school band.

  11. Astounding level of British hypocricy in Guardian and several other newspapers (Times, FT) and their double standards was never exposed:

    Here is a relevant quote:

    When A does it, Guardian goes bonkers and into an emotional overdrive. When B would do it, Guardian would be silent (or even denounce the women as "haters"). It is absolutely relevant Inconsistency isn't some minor detail, you can't claim to have "principles" when you apply them so selectively and politically.

Here is a comment thread which provides some additional context for those who can't read Russian press:

Ken Macaulay

October 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm

On the subject of the British press, did anyone looked into this, regarding the PR case:

“Any suggestion that the BBC fabricated or staged any footage is absolutely untrue. BBC Moscow’s Newsgathering team filmed a Pussy Riot rehearsal on February 17th for a wider report about Russian music and politics ahead of the presidential election. When these pictures were filmed, Pussy Riot did not tell the BBC that they were rehearsing for their later demonstration in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. A report, edited from this material and produced by BBC Russian, was later broadcast on February 22nd – the day after the demonstration. The new voiceover in the BBC Russian piece incorrectly states that the rehearsal took place the day before the demonstration and includes additional commentary which could have given the misleading impression that the BBC was aware of the demonstration. However this is categorically untrue. We are taking steps to ensure the errors are not repeated.

Just found this on John Helmer’s blog, & it’s the first that I’d heard of it:
PUSSY FOOT NOTE — WAS GRANDPA DREAMING OF PUSSY RIOT, OR DID PRIVATE EYE INVENT HIM?
http://america-whereareyou.com/2012/09/pussy-foot-note-was-grandpa-dreaming-of-pussy-riot-or-did-private-eye-invent-him/

Misha
October 10, 2012 at 2:58 am

Before PR’s stunt in the chapel, RFE/RL and the BBC did features on them.

Interesting given their low standing of popularity at that point in time.

As I’ve noted before, Manhattan is well stocked with more talented (to PR) street performers, who’ve enough class to not disrespect a chapel, as well as perform in areas that don’t hinder the ability of pedestrians to travel.

Alexander Mercouris
October 10, 2012 at 4:51 am

Dear Ken,

I think this is momentous. The BBC attended what despite the tortured explanations from the BBC can only have been a rehearsal for the “punk prayer” four days before it took place. The BBC is therefore complicit whether knowingly or not in the committing of a criminal offence. As for Pussy Riot what this shows is that they were already preparing their publicity campaign before the crime was committed.

As to Private Eye what can one say? Its attempt to pass off a veteran BBC journalist as a “British grandfather” is pathetic whilst its failure to mention that one of the Pussy Riot defendants (Tolokonnikova) was a participant in the museum orgy is simply mendacious.

Some quotes:

Here are some a long thread that contains some interesting comments from The Guardian

iggy89

@NOTaREALmerican

I had the chance to dress up in pink tights and a fluoro balaclava and jump up and down and scream and shout – and all this when I was six months pregnant. It was a treat to get the chance to be them for a moment, to replicate the courage and exuberance of their moment of protest in the cathedral.

How brave. But what about Voina's pre-Pussy Riot project?

Voina enacted a series of provocations in Moscow public transportation stations, entitled Operation: Kiss Garbage. In Russian, the word musor (literally: 'garbage') is derogatory slang for "police officer", and the action consisted of female activists approaching and kissing, without warning or consent, policewomen in the stations.

Why not crank it up a notch? How about some real "'fuck you' behind the eyes"? Consider;

I had the chance to dress up in pink tights and a fluoro balaclava and contradict basic feminist ideas by sexually assaulting a police officer – and all this when I was six months pregnant. It was a treat to get the chance to be them for a moment, to replicate the courage and exuberance of their moment of protest in the police station

Not to mention your chance to replicate the punk deeds of countrymen. How about using interpretive dance to depict what it Must Have Felt Like to disrupt the boat race. Or a you could stage a re-enactment of Charlie Gilmour swinging from the cenotaph?

Scipio1

@KnaveOfHearts - Yes, it would be interesting to speculate how the media would handle such an event if it took place in Westminster Cathedral during a royal wedding, or Princess Di's funeral, or in a synagogue in Brooklyn perhaps. I think the slant would be rather different.

These women are self-seeking publicists looking for a career as heroines in the struggle against authoritarianism. The western media will duly oblige when they finish the stint in clink and are feted on Ophrah Winfrey's show. Then for a life of ease in Malibu or Pasadena.

The nihilism is completely fake - Raskolnikov they aren't - they are simply gaming the system, and the western media is only too eager to play along.

Gregor Matheson

@CattFanClub - 'the fact Putin is scared of Pussy Riot'

Really? A 'fact'?

The only 'fact' is that they radically misunderstood the Russian people and their hunger for antics like this. I don't support their prison sentence, but the fact is that if they wanted to stoke hatred of the Russian Orthodox Church then they failed pretty miserably.

'in the end, Russia will break free of authoritarianism.'

Really? Depends on how you define 'authoritarianism'. I'm not a supporter of Putin. Nor do I deny that Russia has serious problems with freedom of speech or civil liberties. However, Putin and United Russia are hated in the west for destroying the plutocracy that was destroying Russia (not much whinging when Yeltsin bombed his parliament) and this is why he is ridiculously compared to Hitler and Stalin at every opportunity.

Prominent things he has been compared to Stalin/Hitler for: counter-strike on Georgia when Saakashvilli started shelling Ossetian civilians, fighting Chechen militants, imprisoning Khodorkovsky, attempting to arrest Berezovsky, failing to extradite Andrei Lugavoy.

Just out of curiosity, would Pussy Riot differ with Vlad on any of these things? Just asking.

degaulle89

@Yefimovich -

No, I totally disagree. That sort of "protest" is exactly what those in power always want: so they can make the opposition seem like puerile, mindless gutter rats.

No revolution ever won without serious intellectual argument and slogans.

snowball95

@GiulioSica - You should be, your inaction is evident in the fact that you are reading such articles, there are bigger issues out there which crave your attention, pussy riot who are in for 2 years and have been tried in court is what you focus on.

Guantanamo strike which is done by people who are never tried in court and most never committed a crime, most of them are abducted from foreign countries including ours.

Moreover Pussy riot is not as clean case as it is portrayed, these women might have good motive but the means were clearly wrong in the eyes of law. To say that Russian law is "shit" is to say we dont really respect any law that gives judgement against our views.

Mannings trial is all secret, how about questioning democracy in US in the light of recent AP scandal and blatant violations of its own constitution, law less killing of mere suspects in foreign land.

Why express stupid intense emotion at few women when and if you are willing, there are other bigger problems which seek your attention.

How about female treatment in UAE or in Saudi or Bahrain where protests are being squashed by US and UK and our media doesn't really want to focus on protest in our allies countries.

10% people did show courage in most of the dictator states which we sponsored and 1 state which Russia sponsored (sorry to hurt you but Iran doesn't count as dictatorship even if media likes to brand it so) look at what happened to all those states.

You know what all we need to do is vote for right thing, we are blessed with good democracy we can bring change but people like you are keen on protesting rather than voting.
Because 10% people protesting is not really democratic if rest of 90% are electing a govt which these 10% are protesting against.

At the end of the day, American public elected Bush! and Egypt wants to be islamic state and I bet people would elect assad if elections are take today.

no wonder Russia has foreign agent act, its to stop people like you de-stablising the country. After all USAID gave 3 billion to fuel protests and such activities in Russia.

GiulioSica

@snowball95

All your points and all the crimes you mention around the world, from the arrest and trial of Bradley Manning, the enforced imprisonment of people without trial in Guantanamo and elsewhere, the illegal wars, the torture, the sustaining of corrupt states like Saudi Arabia and the many abuses of women that go on in these countries, all that is true.

I merely comment on Pussy Riot because they use situationist art to make the point that highlights all those crimes mentioned above. As such, it makes it easier to comment generally and those who question that would no doubt be even more vociferous in questioning what I think about the rest of it.

This is in a way what makes me a coward (or maybe I'm just being necessarily cagey), because I know what I think of all of this but I am in a situation working part-time in a newspaper who have journalists who express political opinions that are so far away from what I consider liberal and ethical that I often have to bit my lip.

Art and music has often been used in modern times to make political points (in the west as well) that would land people in jail if expressed as a political opinion or as journalism. Take a look at the libel laws, take a look at who it protects. How convenient, for example, that discussions of the Woolwich murder is now so heavily moderated, and not even allowed in most cases. Ostensibly, it is because the case is now in court and comments might prejudice the trial, but I don't seem to remember other recent trial cases being treated this way.

In challenging the very system our western democracy is built on, if anyone gets close to a defiant challenge to the power structure they risk being shut down, either with ridicule (conspiracy theory), or, if the evidence is strong enough and the challenge is powerful enough to threaten that structure, it is shot down. Often this comes in the form of individuals being destroyed in one way or another. Witness the job that has been done on Julian Assange.

Everything I have read about Pussy Riot suggests to me anarchist situationist ideals which I find myself in agreement with. It is about this diseased patriarchy, not just in Russia, but throughout the "civilised" world. But it's one thing agreeing, it's another thing living by those ideals and being prepared to be imprisoned or die for those ideals. I am only recognising that I don't have the courage to do what those women have done, what Bradley Manning did, what the Turkish protesters are doing but I wish I and many others do find that courage or generations will suffer because of our inaction.

GiulioSica

@snowball95

To answer your other point on democracy and the rule of law, I find both throughout the west to be corrupted beyond repair. Votes are rigged, as in the case of George Bush's 2000 election and continuing US elections that are slanted to campaign funding that runs into tens of millions and favours the banking cartels. When such a system is allowed to perpetuate, laws are not worth the paper they are printed on. The US Bill of Rights has been ripped apart by the Homeland Security bill, human and civil rights have been undermined.

As for Russia, we know that the US has been heavily involved since Reagan and post-Gorbachev in undermining democracy in that country. Trillions of dollars of the country's wealth has been transferred into the hands of a few oligarchs, who conveniently allow that money to flow and be stored in the US and UK, as well as many offshore accounts.

The collusion of Russian government with the church in Russia in undermining democracy and seeking a false political legitimacy is well known, or should be, as this is central to many of the grievances Pussy Riot address. They use vulgarity in language to highlight the vulgarity of the state apparatus. Would that there were such groups in the US and UK (there were in music and art, but it has become sanitised and "edgy" art now gets the corporate "coffee table" treatment.

But knowing all this and merely posting it isn't enough, I agree. I choose the articles that allow me the scope to write what I feel and, for some reason, what Pussy Riot represent I feel an affinity with. I may disagree with some of their methods and perhaps a closer examination would show differences in political stance. But I generally feel that I get where they are coming from and support their actions and recognise that what they are doing takes immense courage, intelligence and focus, so I'm at least wanting to acknowledge that.

MuchasJobbie

@GiulioSica - Just indulging in a little Parody.

From the original comment.

Frozen Chicken Fuckers

I'll not make his point for him/her, but the above needs no paragraph to explain. You call it Art, I call it extremism. Their objectives may be admirable, but there motives and actions less so. :-p

You though, have my sympathy for this.

I am in a situation working part-time in a newspaper who have journalists who express political opinions that are so far away from what I consider liberal and ethical that I often have to bit my lip.

jayant

31 May 2013 8:33pm

"when faced with a fate such as this I would undoubtedly crumble."

Why would you crumble? Why aren't you made of stronger stuff? Is this a question of privileged background?

Or, is it that the contemporary Western European youth are inoculated with the political ideology that they feel that they enjoy more enshrined rights than ever before.

The political class has learned to manage and manipulate popular demands so that comedians and cartoonists can mock the political class and we all feel that we are challenging the rulers. Nothing changes.

So saying 'fuck you' may give you moment of satisfaction of defying authority, but those in positions of power know it can do no harm.

That is the dilemma, Ms Garai.

2345678

01 June 2013 5:24pm

No it is not.

its a criminal offence to protest in a CofE Church in the Uk.

On 12 April 1998, Tatchell led an OutRage! protest, which disrupted a sermon by George Carey, the nutty former Archbishop of Canterbury, with Tatchell mounting the pulpit to denounce Carey's opposition to legal equality for lesbian and gay people.

This led to Tatchell's prosecution under the little-used Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860, which prohibits any form of disruption or protest in a church.Tatchell was convicted. The judge fined him the trivial sum of £18.60.

Carey is the idiot who has proposed in a recent court case that Christians should only be tried in courts in the UK, if the jury is made up of Christians.

imyourboyfriend

31 May 2013 9:42pm

Save your sympathy for those who have stood up against the greater evil and lost, like Bradley Manning. Ms. Alyokhina may not deserve her sentence, but what she has become is a useful idiot whose story benefits the CIA, the banksters, and the oil cartel in their power struggles with the Russian government.

Harry Browne has just published a book titled The Frontman: Bono (In the Name of Power). Ms. Garai, if you keep writing articles like this one, in a decade you will be known as The Frontwoman.

Beckow

01 June 2013 3:58pm

@FrankWoodford -

They are all members of the same punk organization and public disruptions are what they do: cathedrals, frozen chickens,.... In most countries it will eventually get you in some legal trouble.

Not mentioning that is simple inaccurate. Propaganda by omission.

And how about three Moslem girls staging a protest in a Mosque during Friday prayers? Do you think they would make it out of there alive? Do you think Guardian would care?

Beckow

01 June 2013 7:18pm

@2345678 - "irrelevant"?

How so? When A does it, Guardian goes bonkers and into an emotional overdrive. When B would do it, Guardian would be silent (or even denounce the women as "haters"). It is absolutely relevant Inconsistency isn't some minor detail, you can't claim to have "principles" when you apply them so selectively and politically.

I also don't think that all "religions hate women". They don't, most offended Orthodox Christian believers in that cathedral were elderly women.

ninoinoz

31 May 2013 10:50pm

Pussy Riot 'speak in a language of political protest that my generation has all but abandoned'.

Not at all. You seem to have also perfected the use of profanity in your headline.

Two years! For disrespecting the church?

Not the church, but a church. One that has just been rebuilt after being destroyed by the Communists in the Soviet era.

An excellent comment comes from Neil Addison's blog entry on this issue:

Whilst I personally think the sentence was excessive there is one aspect to the incident which has not been commented on in the British media and may explain why Orthodox believers in Russia were quite so outraged. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is of special importance. It is a reconstruction of a Cathedral which was deliberately destroyed in 1931 as part of the persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union . During this persecution groups such as the League of Militant Atheists often desecrated Churches and engaged in parodies of religious ritual whilst singing obscene songs.

In the West we seem to have almost forgotten Communism and the evils it brought but people in Russia have not. I notice that in Court one of the Pussy Riot demonstrators wore a T Shirt bearing a clenched fist and the words "No Pasaran" which was a slogan of the Spanish Communist Party during the Spanish Civil War. It was a bit like appearing in a German Court wearing a T Shirt with a Nazi Slogan. In those circumstances perhaps it is not surprising if Russians have taken a rather less rosy eyed view of the incident than that of the Western media.

And, I might add, Pope Francis has recently recognised as martyrs 58 persons killed in the Spanish Civil War.

the unusually punitive attitude of the Russian authorities towards these women (for example, the legal right of two of them to suspend their sentence on account of being mothers was denied).

Excuse me? How many men would be excused for being fathers?

Feminists: all in favor of equality until it is against their interests.

Second, they embody a real feminist anger and uncompromisingly scornful attitude to the patriarchal values that women have been taught to accept as the status quo.

Did you actually read through your article before submitting it to the Guardian? Did anybody at the Guardian?

When I took part in an event hosted by the Royal Court theatre last year, where myself and a group of other actors performed some plays inspired by Pussy Riot, interspersed with their writings, I had the chance to dress up in pink tights and a fluoro balaclava and jump up and down and scream and shout – and all this when I was six months pregnant.

Funny, the EDL recently wore balaclavas down in Woolwich and were castigated for it. Funny how the same rules don't seem to apply to Guardianista-friendly individuals.

Incidentally, if you were to repeat this behavior in an English cathedral you would be breaking s2 of the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860, s28 of the Crime and DIsorder Act 1998, s5 or s4A of the Public Order Act 1986 and s68 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. One of these offences carries a maximum sentence of two years. Russia's not so different from here after all.

Cruelly separated from her child

She separated herself from her child when she committed her criminal offence. Don't blame the Russian State for enforcing the law.

As of today, Maria Alyokhina, a member of the Russian punk feminist collective Pussy Riot, is on the 10th day of a hunger strike.

I was reading about food banks in this country in the Guardian, yesterday. There are people going hungry in this country and you indulge posturing from a musician in Russia.

Romola, pay a visit to the real world occasionally.

degaulle89

@ninoinoz -

I have zero time for these obscene posturers in Russia, as I have made clear, but still less for the popes.

In 1934 the Vatican made a Concordat with Hitler, hailing him as the Saviour of Germany. The German Catholic Church declared Hitler's birhtday a special day of celebration in the churches.

The Catholic Curch refused to condemn the mounting persecution of the Jews - the age-old enemies of the Church in its own eyes - and kept quiet even about the horrific Kristallnacht pogrom. Later the Church made the miserable excuse of every scoundrel who refuses to act against a crime by saying it did not want to make things worse for the Jews by speaking out. Yet when its OWN causes were at stake the German Catholic Church did speak out under Hitler, vociferously. It condemned the mass killing of the disabled, together with other churches and the public at large, and this forced the Nazis to curtail their programme of killing the disabled. This showed Hitler was vulnerable to the pressure of public opinion.

But where the Jews were concerned, the churches, including the Cathoilics, kept mum. They opened their parish registers to the Nazis to identify who was Jewish, like Jesus, so they could be gassed.

rickylee369

01 June 2013 2:01am

@kingcreosote - If I were to visit St Paul's Cathedral, plug in my amp and yell obscenities about the way our government is screwing us over, and mocking the beliefs of the congregation, I would fare little better than Pussy Riot.

Firstly because there is a difference between free-speech and hate preaching, but mainly because much like this trio of publicity seeking adults with adolescent attitudes, I can neither sing or play my guitar in a competent manner...

If you believe that our country is much better regarding personal freedoms feel free to take my hypothetical place. Doors open at 8.30 for sightseeing, take a friend to film your inevitable arrest.

rickylee369

01 June 2013 11:19am

@DismantleTrident - You make a valid point. However, if I was a Muslim advocating the things Pussy Riot stand for, then I doubt I'd be out in time for Armageddon.

Seriously, what did these girls think was going to happen to them? It is a shame though and this farce has been going on long enough. If the Russians will not show any flexibility over this, how the hell are we supposed to get them to assist us with a negotiated peace in Syria? ;-)

truthwillout

01 June 2013 12:42am

Who funds pussy riot?

zietguest

01 June 2013 9:20am

@truthwillout - Who funds pussy riot?
After hearing their music I doubt it's from album sales.

bogangrogan

01 June 2013 1:11am

Would anyone pay attention if not for the whole "tits oot for the luds," thing?

Pavlova101

01 June 2013 9:57am

@bogangrogan -
They aren't femen.

CarbonFinderGeneral

01 June 2013 10:22am

@Pavlova101 - And they aren't musicians.

RealTurk

01 June 2013 1:43am

I am asking the Author:

If 50 Babushkas are given a broom stick each, and the whole band of Pussy Rioters are thrown in the middle, what does she think will happen?

The Russians want to live like Russians, not like Londoners, sorry.

FineBoyNoPimples

01 June 2013 1:46am

Another rubbish anti-Russia article. Protests happen in Russia everyday, these girls went beyond the bounds of decency by desecrating a place as sensitive as a venue of worship and have been rightly punished (compare to London rioters jailed for stealing bottles of water).

If you are really concerned about denying people their rights, you will do better to focus on the Guantanamo detainees, many of whom have been declared as having no case to answer unlike the convicted Pussy girls, held inhumanely without trial for years and about 100 of whom are on hunger strike but are force-fed by soldiers and nurses. Now that's worth getting agitated about.
Perhaps next time I wish to protest about something, anything, I should invade your home or church (or mosque) or Buckingham palace in order to make my point.

lichinochka

01 June 2013 2:23am

As much as I hate Putin's autocracy I would never be able to call these women genuine challengers of the regime. While it is true that they have committed no crime and were sentenced unfairly we must also consider the events that they were engaged in before the fateful dance in a really big church, which include, among others, having sex in a museum which was open to the public, overturning (literally) a police vehicle and countless other minor offences. This track record is far from perfect, and, sadly, there are currently no viable challengers to the regime.

Nobul

01 June 2013 12:52pm

@lichinochka - why unfairly? There is a law in Russia in black and white and they have broke that law, hence are punished according to the law. Putin did not write that law after the pussies'd gone riot.

Xhosa

01 June 2013 3:22am

There are many many web sites selling Russian women to foreigners, like cattle. They are obscene. The market in wives is obscene. Another riot in a church is required!.

This is how young Russian women are described:

'Due to their upbringing Russian ladies are taught to look for different characteristics than many Western ladies. What characteristics?? A Russian woman looks for maturity and stability in a man. She also looks for a man who is serious about his life and loving with her. Therefore mature men can marry Russian women up to 20 years younger'

degaulle89

02 June 2013 9:07am

@Xhosa -

Capitalism sells everything: that's exactly what is so horrifying about it.

Those who sold Russia to capitalism should have thought about this.

Rescue

01 June 2013 5:10am

I love Ramola Garai.

And I'm very much against President Putin and his authoritarian reigime.

But this is a stupid article. If a group of women in Britain or western Europe had invaded and desecrated a church, there would have been outrage and a demand for some punishment, and rightly so.

These women are not scaring Putin, they are not uniting the opposition, in fact they are harming the opposition, no Russians want to follow a group of decadent women who engage in sex orgies. That's the truth.

Olopocram

01 June 2013 7:34am

Ramola, your underlying premise of political subjugation as the underlying force here is absolutely correct in my view. The way you then dress this up in pseudo feminist ideology is I find less convincing. For example, it may surprise you to know that there are many people in this country who are retained in prisons because they "fail to repent for their crimes". This is one of the tenets of our own parole system, albeit for more serious crimes than those "committed" by Pussy Riot. Praise Pussy Riot for their protest against Putinism, and I do most wholeheartedly, but bemoan their treatment by the same regime? What exactly did they expect?

Look around the world and you will see evils of infinitely greater importance being perpetrated every day.

maiaexpat

01 June 2013 7:58am

"The language of freedom-fighting was so co-opted by the baby boomers in order to express their now hopelessly compromised ideologies that no other generation could emulate it without a smirk."

Great point - well said, and totally agree (as do so many of our generation!)

adamz

01 June 2013 8:16am

Pussy Riot are a cultural dead-end and will not have any effect on the Russian State.

It is interesting to analyze the responses in Guardian. They have pretty established pattern and generally correlate in structure in any Russia-related article. I see three main types of participants in those discussion:


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[Jul 29, 2017] Alyokhina memoirs and vaginal liberation of food incident

Notable quotes:
"... "She' written a "memoir" entitled "Riot Days", albeit she confesses that "writing a memoir at 27 is blasphemy"" ..."
"... "Strange looking feminist. I thought she was a singer in a punk band?" ..."
"... Voina were not pals with those who liked to call themselves the Moscow branch of Voina, namely the sent-down from MGU philosophy student Pete the Pedo and his philosophy student wife Nadya. In fact, serious accusations were made by the one and only genuine St. Pete Voina that Pete was not only a thief (he nicked one of their laptops and the data it contained, they said) but also a police informer. ..."
Jul 29, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

July 26, 2017 at 10:01 am

Moscow Exile , July 26, 2017 at 10:01 am

Remember this "feminist punk rocker"? She' written a "memoir" entitled "Riot Days", albeit she confesses that "writing a memoir at 27 is blasphemy". In her memoir, she whinges about her imprisonment in a colony. (That's a "gulag" amongst Western prestitutes.)

See: Написать мемуары в 27 лет – это кощунство

Strange looking feminist. I thought she was a singer in a punk band?

Evgeny , July 26, 2017 at 10:10 am
Kinda like acknowledging everything great that happened to her is in the past? That's wise thinking. I doubt she has any future as a musician.
Lyttenburgh , July 26, 2017 at 11:50 am
"She' written a "memoir" entitled "Riot Days", albeit she confesses that "writing a memoir at 27 is blasphemy""

Was she stoned then?

"Strange looking feminist. I thought she was a singer in a punk band?"

Nah, she's a walking repository for the frozen chickens. What?! If what Pavlensky does constitutes "art", surely what she did is art as well! Somehow

Moscow Exile , July 26, 2017 at 12:54 pm
Please don't mistake her for the woman who stuffed a supermarket frozen broiler chicken up her vagina and was filmed whilst doing this in a Petersburg supermarket aisle.

This error of identity made on this site provided grist to the infamous Peter's mill, he who often just posted the caustic comment "idiot" and who claimed he knew the name of the extremely stupid woman who performed this act (a dangerous thing to do), though as, usual, he wouldn't reveal her name, and it wasn't Alyokhina (above).

I found out who the chicken-in-the-pussy woman was was, but I have forgotten her name now.

She was one of the Petersburg Voina gang, and after the chicken performance she debunked, as did at the same time another leading light of Voina, to Finland, I think.

Voina were not pals with those who liked to call themselves the Moscow branch of Voina, namely the sent-down from MGU philosophy student Pete the Pedo and his philosophy student wife Nadya. In fact, serious accusations were made by the one and only genuine St. Pete Voina that Pete was not only a thief (he nicked one of their laptops and the data it contained, they said) but also a police informer.

See [warning: definitely not for family viewing!]: Vaginal Liberation of Food


The artist: not Alyokhina. The performance was called "How to snatch a chicken".

[Jan 06, 2016] How Putin lifted Pussy Riot out of the gutter and onto the world's stage Russophobia pays!

Fort Russ

Before they were international heroines, whose name gave newscasters the opening to say the word "pussy" right in their broadcasts, they were simply outrageous, and no heroes. Add anti-Putin positions to the mix, and the outrageousness becomes heroism.

Here is a backgrounder from the German press: "The howling of the Western media about the Russian punk band Pussy Riot is great. But like so much else, the presentation of these "activists" is completely distorted. Pussy Riot have been guilty of crimes that would be punished in this country by a much higher penalty than just two years.

"Pussy Riot grew out of the "artists' group" Voina. Both Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, as well as Yekaterina Samutsevich, participated in recent years in actions of "Voina," which consisted, of the members of this "Artgroup" doing such things as copulating in public or bringing out bowel movement in the middle of a grocery store.*

[Aug 08, 2015] From Siberian prison to cocktails in the Hamptons

Lyttenburgh , August 5, 2015 at 7:49 am
Freedoom, 'Mocracy and Liberastims deliver yet another crushing blow against Putinst Tyranny! Courtesy of the Daily Fail:
____________________________________________________________________________
From Siberian prison to cocktails in the Hamptons: The drastic change in fortunes of a Pussy Riot punk rocker

Nearly three years after she was sentenced to Siberian prison for hooliganism, Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova spent a summer evening at a posh art gala.

Tolokonnikova, 25, who rose to fame after filming an anti-government 'punk prayer' in Moscow's main cathedral, mingled with Brooke Shields and the son of a billionaire at the Watermill Center benefit held by director Robert Wilson.

Since being released under an 'amnesty' from Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2013, the activist now devotes much of her time to raising awareness to prison conditions in her native country.

However, she has also become a regular at high society gatherings around the world, such as the Hamptons event on July 25.

The event, where access to cocktail hour cost $650 and 'distinguished benefactor' tables go for $50,000, featured performance art and drinks made with George Clooney's tequila Casamigos.

Fashion designers and guests such Alexander Soros, son of billionaire George, were in attendance, according to Page Six.

The event, which raised almost $2million, featured various performers in various states of undress, such as a naked man covered in paint and a scantily clad couple looking at each other in side a giant apple.

Tolokonnikova, who attended with husband Pyotr Verzilov, was approached by a photographer and said, 'It's not a big deal for me', saying that maybe the cameraman wanted to take her picture because she had recently changed her hairstyle.

Some were surprised to see Tolokonnikova at the ritzy party held in the woods outside the Watermill Center.

'The Hamptons isn't exactly known for its emphasis on social commentary,' one reporter said, according to Artnet.

The Russian activist, who met with internationally renowned figures such as Marina Abramovic shortly after her release from prison, told Forbes that she was staying at a friend's house nearby.

When asked to compare the 'one per cent' in Russia and the US, Tolokonnikova and Verzilov said that Moscow's wealthiest are different from the America's because they are 'friends of Putin.'

She has been outspoken in her activism, writing the 'Pussy Riot column' for Vice.com, posting on social media and even being arrested at a Moscow protest in June for sewing a Russian flag while wearing a convict uniform.

She released an English-language music video about Eric Garner earlier this year and has recently called the deaths of prisons in her home country 'Russian ebola'.

Her normally active Twitter account was silent in the days surrounding the Hamptons gala.

Tolokonnikova was also seen mingling with celebrities such as Uma Thurman at the Freedom For All benefit at the Standard High Line hotel in Manhattan this May.
_____________________________________________________________________________

Hell yeah! That's what I call a real "activism"! Surely, this will show this Putin… something!

There is only thing that I'm really disappointed with concerning this article. Tolokonnikova "rose to fame" well before her "punk sermon" – it was after an orgy in St.Pete's museum. Shame on you, Daily Mail! You have standards to uphold and now you are ommiting this crucial detail?!

marknesop, August 5, 2015 at 11:07 am
Yes, indeed; her former contemporaries in the performance-art world must look at the new Nadya in her posh gowns and photographers rushing to snap her every time she gets a haircut, and say "You go, Nadya".

And it certainly lends you credibility when you're talking about starving and being beaten in prison when you're seated at the $50,000.00 table drinking George Clooney tequila in The Hamptons.

Play that funky music, White Girl.

[Aug 22, 2014] Four accused of painting Moscow building in Ukrainian colours face jail by Alec Luhn

Looks more like Pussi riot provocation, act 2. Guardian serves as an amplifier of the action...
zorrooorroo Eric Moller, 22 August 2014 5:32pm
Hooliganism .... A new word .

========

simply wrong translation of Russian term into English - in Russia it is not anew word...it is the same tactics to uise mistranslation for political propaganda - like transalting Soviet as Russia (and thus equating exclusively ethnic Russians to soviet past, but exonerating Ukrainians, Georgians etc despite those were the same Soviets as Russian were) - all that for political reasons... "n - word" was nearly abolished in English language when political situation made it to depict wrong associations, but nobody is going to stop calling exclusively Russians as Soviets or Soviet Union as Russia - the most funny things happen when foreigners trying to accuse Russians in Soviet foreign policy start to say something like - well, Ukrainians remember what Russians did because of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact - and funny is that they forget that those were not Russia or Russians that benefited from Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but Ukraine and Ukrainians because all those Polish lands were given to Ukraine, not to Russia in USSR - and even today Lviv that Stalin took from Poland according to Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is a part of Ukraine, not Russia...

yet, English language continue to identify exclusively Russians as Soviets - very convenient for non-Russians and for the West too in order to alienate all non-Russian ex-soviets (Georgia, Ukraine, etc.) from Russia...

Linguistic propaganda - that how I call it.

IdreamaPeacefulWorld, 22 August 2014 10:41pm

I love the connection with the pussy riots.

Please check this link and tell me if you would be happy for this to happen in your local museum and call it art!

http://www.henrikaeshna.com/apps/blog/sex-orgy-in-a-museum-what-does

AstheticTheory, 22 August 2014 11:50pm

They probably calculated the cost of their legal case in the price they charged the front organisations for their 'protest services'.

Bakerpembury, 22 August 2014 11:55pm

It's sometimes said Pussy Riot was invented by the CIA as a drunken joke but " bare breasts" excited them so much they signed off the funding. I'm inclined to believe it.

AstheticTheory -> Bakerpembury, 22 August 2014 11:59pm

There are billionaire backed front organisations and front media outlets who sponsor these activities and promote them in the media. This newspaper is part of a network that actually spreads this stuff.

koshenka, 23 August 2014 12:50am

Pussy Riot are not many. Though I can understand why Tolokonnikova called those who did it heroes: after all, base jumping takes more bravery and skills than fucking in museum.

koshenka, 23 August 2014 1:12am

btw, have Pussy already released some new single? or, I don't know, some old one?

[Jul 28, 2014] The Department of Making Shit Up Welcomes New Rising Star Daniel Bilak

The Kremlin Stooge
Fern , July 28, 2014 at 5:07 am
I suppose it was inevitable so I don't know why i'm surprised. The women of Pussy Riot have filed a claim against Russia at the ECHR, seeking, wait for it, 'damages' of $335,000. Prepare yourselves for the obligatory 25 zillion Guardian articles in support.

http://en.ria.ru/society/20140728/191380646/Pussy-Riot-Seek-Over-330000-From-Russia-in-ECHR-Appeal.html

Moscow Exile, July 28, 2014 at 5:25 am
They seem to have put very scant monetary value upon their perceived moral and physical damage that they claim to have suffered in the Empire of Evil as a result of their "gig" in a church.

$330,000! That's peanuts.

What exact "human rights" of theirs do they claim to have been particularly infringed? There are several who have pointed out that they would possibly have received similar terms of imprisonment if they had been arrested elsewhere for prancing around in a public place of worship whilst mouthing obscenities. Their punishment was also in no way diminished by their posturing whilst in prison.

Khodorkovsky tried the same and failed miserably – not that you would know that reading the Western media reports on the eventual court ruling re Khodorkovsky. One of the things the ECHR found in favour of Khodokorkovsky was that he had suffered the indignity of standing in a cage in Russian courts and for having to piss in a bucket in a holding cell, if my memory serves me rightly.

Poor thing!

[Feb 21, 2014] Russian Punk Group Ends Protest Tour of Sochi By ANDREW ROTH

Feb 21, 2014 | NYT

During a three-day stay in Sochi, members of Pussy Riot were detained three times, whipped by a Cossack and hounded by pro-government activists.

[Feb 19, 2014] The Kremlin Stooge

February 19, 2014

Moscow Exile says:

The Guardianistas are up in arms and go on about the "unmanly" behaviour of the Cossacks, which is rather ironic, for me at least, for in the Grauniad talking about "manliness" and other such "gender typecasting" is a big no-no.

Anyway, what was missed out as regards the Guardianistas' shock and horror over unmanly behaviour was the role the slimy Verzilov played in the whole episode.

Yes, he was there, and very much off stage. He can be seen late on the clip being barged into a tree by one of the Cossacks and he's typically wriggling and squiggling in his landed-eel type of way.

And I say this: he's Tolokonnikova's husband! He should have been in there right in the middle of it, slugging away to defend his wife.

I mean, what would any of you done in the same circumstances?

Verzilov did sweet FA!!!

I mean, old Nadezhda's there on the deck, and though I think she's a crackpot – in fact I'm bloody sure she is, as is her father – I have to admit she has a certain je ne sais quoi as regards sexual allure, and there she is on the deck being lashed across her plumptious arse with a whip and Porky Pete does NOTHING – nothing at all about it – apart from hide, apparently.

I reckon he's not a loving husband.

What an absolute rotter!

Moscow Exile says:

Local reports have said that they have been whistled at on the street and catcalled by Sochi folk. They tried to hold a "gig" in the middle of some downtown highway and caused a traffic tailback. Apparently, many of the local drivers were none too pleased.

None of this reported in the West, of course.

Drutten says:

Yeah, it seems like they walked Sochi putting on their "show" in various places, with local law enforcement initially doing nothing, merely watching it. After a while, the general public was getting sick of it which qualifies it as disorderly conduct and warrants arrest. Nothing to see here.

[Feb 03, 2014] Now Pussy Riot are free, Russia's culture wars must end by Natalia Antonova

23 December 2013 | The Guardian
Julian1972 -> StevHep
Pussy Riot and 'Culture' in the same sentence?

It must be Christmas!

blessmycottonsocks
Oh I see; it was a cultural thing!

And I thought filming yourself in a supermarket inserting frozen chicken legs into your vagina was just (distasteful) exhibitionism.

nobledonkey

Natalia, thank you for your thoughtful opinion piece but you must understand that Pussy Riot is simply a tiny flank in a larger conflict that seeks to surround and neturalize Russia to ease American global hegemonic ambitions.

There is nothing that Anglo-America would like to see more on the world stage than for Russia to return to the insanity, deprivation, and criminality of the Yeltsin years in which your country's wealth was stolen and offshored and Russia's ability to not only project power but to defend itself was severely curtailed.

The Putin Era has seen a reversal to the benefit of most Russians (as statistics show) through what is termed "Managed Democracy" as a counter to the liberal trends of the Yeltsin Era which are now firmly fixed in the nightmares of most ordinary Russians.

The re-introduction of more liberal rule would be the best way to accomplish Anglo-American foreign policy objectives in Russia and its near abroad, which is why the constant demands in Western media for Russia to reform along western lines inundates us daily. This is why Khodorkovsky is made out to be a political prisoner instead of the capitalist robber baron thief that he actually is. This is also why Pussy Riot are feted as some sort of human rights activists and martyrs when they're little more than adolescent stunt artists backed by western NGOs.

There is a serious disconnect between what westerners think is happening in Russia (and more importantly, what Russians think and feel) and what is actually happening there politically, socially, and culturally. Westerners largely, especially in the media, can't fathom the idea that most Russians reject their values so they automatically assume that they do share the same values.

This is why your country will continue to be portrayed negatively in the western media and why this 'culture war' only serves western interests, much like how the Yeltsin Oligarchy did as the oligarchs lined their own pockets while ordinary Russians starved.

How soon before Pussy Riot gets a record deal in the West?

Ber10000

Ah, the backlash has, er, arrived,and it's, like, disturbing.

Which comes first the backlash or the crime.

Suggested headline.

"Punk "band" fears backlash ahead of tomorrow's simulated masturbation gig in Orthodox church."

Beckow

To stop the culture wars, start with telling the truth. Major parts of these stories about Pussy Riot, Khodorkovsky, anti-gay propaganda law, etc... are intentionally omitted in the Western media. What can one discuss with half-truths and lies? How can one communicate with ignorance?

None of the stories as presented conform to reality, and none meet journalism standards. It is intentional half-reporting. We hear one side of the story repeated as nausea. When you intentionally lie about others, you become irrelevant. Any real issues and real discussion become impossible.

West needs to accept that Russia is not going back to the Yeltsin's era, that the resources will not be given out for free. Once the West accepts this reality, the PR war will end. Until then we are stuck.... there will be more "exhibitionism", more "sky-is-falling" reporting, and eventually a total irrelevance....


Beckow doubleparked

Neither you nor I, nor Guardian know how much money Putin has. All we know is that if there was any evidence of his enormous wealth, the western media and intelligence agencies would immediately publish it. And they should. That leaves the following options:
- all his wealth is in Russia
- he is really good at hiding it
- he is not that wealthy
Discussing it without any facts is a distraction and pointless.

Malakhov RussianFriend

You and your Putin friends seem to be very happy to use a Western tool such as The Guardian to air your view.

What's the problem? Do you perhaps lack an equivalent in your "separate continent" and "separate culture" for supporting your "traditions"?

You are very welcome to retrench in your huge country [lot of space, after all], you don't mind if we don't agree and perhaps don't come to the Winter Olympics?

I am only asking because Vladimir seems to mind quite a lot...

DrChris RussianFriend

It's just an excuse for the criminals that rule Russia.

RussianFriend -> DrChris

Any Russian president or prime minister will always be portrayed as a criminal unless he or she shows servile respect for Washington and/or Brussels. Recall numerous dictators across the world who did show it and were lambasted notwithstanding their crimes.

Tacty

if the same things happened in america, the members of pussy riots will be happy to end up in the hands of police, let alone ended up in some court...

[Jan 26, 2014] Pussy Riot: The Punk Prayer

Jan 18, 2015 | neznaika-nalune.livejournal.com/

По HBO на днях крутили этот документальный фильм, который я посмотрел почти полностью. Он оказался лучше ожидаемого.

Большая часть публикаций по теме Pussy Riot в западных СМИ сводится к незамысловатой пропагандистской штамповке: а) несколько девушек в цветастых одежках и балаклавах зашли в московский храм и спели там что-то против Путина; б) они тут же были схвачены полицейщиной, закованы в кандалы и упрятаны в тюрьму; в) через несколько месяцев они приговорены к 2 годам тюрьмы и этапированы куда-то в сибирский Gulag; д) немногочисленные представители российской свободолюбивой общественности протестуют против приговора суда и борются за их освобождение, подавляющее большинство боится выступить в их поддержку потому что запугано путинской диктатурой.

Фильм, при явных симпатиях к Pussy Riot (иная точка зрения в западных масс-медиа практически невозможна), представляет более сложную и нюансную картину. В нём рассказывается о предыстории этой группы, и в частности о нескольких выступлениях предшествующих "пению в храме". Они далеко не у всех вызовут положительную реакцию - ясно что музыки и пения там нет вообще, а всё сводится только к обсценным кричалкам. Так же мелькают кадры прошлых художеств участников группы - трахания в биологическом музее, хотя не упоминаются другие - с тараканами, с курицей, с переворачиванием милицейских машин. Так же показываются кадры самого "выступления" в храме, и как охрана прекращает его - кстати, в довольно мягкой форме, никто не набрасывается на них с дубинками и кулаками, охранники и служители пробуют сначала говорить с пуськами, и только потом выпроваживают их из храма. У большинства зрителей вряд ли останутся сомнения что это была скорее хулиганская выходка, а не музыкальное выступление, пусть и не заслуживающая длительного тюремного срока.

Немного рассказывается о родителях пусек и их детстве. У Алёхиной - обычая семья, трудное детство (бедность ранних 90-х, ранние протестные настроения скорее левого толка). Довольно неприятное впечатление в фильме производят мужчины в жизни Толоконниковой. Родители её развелись рано, и большую часть детства и ранних школьных лет надежда воспитывалась матерью, почти без участия отца. Потом, в старших классах и когда поступила в МГУ, она в основном находилась под влиянием отца. Отец (кажется, Антон по имени) производит впечатление того что называется "скользкий тип", как и её гражданский муж Пётр Верзилов (они вообще выглядят несколько похожими). Хихикая в камеру, отец хвастается что именно он придумал слова "Срань господня", которые пуськи выкрикивали в храме. Во время одной уличной демонстрации, где сошлись как сторонники так и противники Pussy Riot, когда один из противников обвиняет Антона Толоконникова в таком воспитании дочери, он трусливо увиливает, хмыкая в ответ: "Вообще-то её мать воспитывала". Верзилов, в момент оглашения приговора, не поднимая глаз, что-то увлечённо строчит на телефоне, с самодовольной ухмылкой на лице. Девушки нередко выбирают себе спутника похожего по типу на отца. В данном случае это производит... странное впечатление. Неприятно выглядит и адвокат Фейгин, хватающий дочь Толоконниковой, Геру, как тряпичную куклу, во время произнесения очередной пафосной обличительной речи (как и за несколько лет до этого Пётр Верзилов, чуть ли не отбивающийся дочерью от полицейского во время задержания).

В фильме есть забавный эпизод - как Путин троллит западного корреспондента во время интерью, предлагая ему перевести название Pussy Riot на русский; тот увиливает от ответа. Я уже писал как неловко чувствовали себя американские СМИ в начальный период известности Pussy Riot, в произнесении и написании этого названия. С тех пор они всё-же научились это делать, но по прежнему стараются произносить это скороговоркой, с бубнежем.

[Jan 25, 2014] Russia's Riot Girls, All Grown Up By Cathy Young

RealClearPolitics

...With their provocative name and equally provocative tactics, Pussy Riot have drawn mixed reactions even from people who have no love for Putin's authoritarian regime. Many Russians in the opposition camp found the group's anti-Putin "punk prayer" in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior offensive (though they also regarded the women's criminal prosecution as an absurd overreaction). In the West, Pussy Riot's cause was championed by numerous entertainers and activists; the women received Yoko Ono's 2012 LennonOno Peace Grant and were finalists for the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Yet some American and European conservative commentators took a much less favorable view, seeing the group's actions as an obscene attack on religion. In a recent article on Reason.com, Zenon Evans cautions that Pussy Riot are more likely to discredit than help the cause of freedom in Russia; he points to their declarations of "Trotskyite" and anti-capitalist beliefs, as well as their past involvement in a radical art collective, Voina (War), whose protests involved vandalism and public lewdness.

There is no question that the women's history has some unsavory moments. Notably, in 2008, then 18-year-old Tolokonnikova took part in a bizarre Voina stunt in which several activists protested the upcoming election of Putin placeholder Dmitry Medvedev by stripping naked in Moscow's Museum of Biology and engaging in (likely simulated) sex under a banner that mocked "the heir." (No visitors or staffers witnessed this "orgy," photos and a video of which were later posted online.)

The "punk prayer" itself, with its coarse language and brash dancing on the altar steps, was certainly disrespectful and disorderly. However, contrary to some claims, no service was disrupted; the cathedral was nearly empty, and the church employees who later claimed to have been greatly traumatized by the women's performance did not even bother to call the police but simply escorted the offenders outside. They were arrested nearly two weeks later in the wake of media publicity.

...the amnesty applied to women with young children serving sentences for non-violent crimes... (Tolokonnikova, married to fellow Voina alum Pyotr Verzilov, is the mother of a four-year-old girl; Alyokhina has a five-year-old son with her common-law husband.)

[Jan 18, 2014] Putin Redux: Continuity and change

14 September 2012 | http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia

Some time before their orgy of 29th February 2008 in Moscow's Museum of Biology, members of the Voina kollektiv threw cats over the counter of a MacDonald's. Leaving aside the feelings of the cats, work in MacDonald's, one would have thought, is hard enough without having cats thrown at you. Spare a thought for the workers!

From Pussy Riot to Khodorkovsky, Vladimir Putin has been underrated by Geoffrey Wheatcroft

December 20, 2013 | theguardian.com

A very merry Christmas to Pussy Riot, Greenpeace and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, not to say to Vladimir Putin. At his somewhat bizarre annual press conference, with 1,300 journalist waving flags to capture his attention, Putin announced that Khodorkovsky, like the others, would be released from prison. Putin may not be a very lovable or gentle creature, but yet again he has shown himself to be unusually cunning, for all that he has been not only derided but consistently underrated.

Since the implosion of the Soviet Union, more than 20 years ago, the west has made every conceivable mistake in dealing with Russia. In what was meant to be the End of History, with the universal triumph of liberal democracy and market capitalism, American zealots attempted to impose free markets on Russia after more than 70 years of what had passed for socialism. The unhappy outcome should have been no surprise.

This is not a defence of Putin's in many ways unlovely regime. No journalist can feel much fondness for a country where troublesome investigative reporters have a habit of turning up dead. But external policy is a quite different matter, even if the inability to distinguish between the internal character of the Russian regime and its foreign concerns is a very old story. Successive generations of starry-eyed people in the west were enchanted by the Soviet myth, and then disenchanted by what Malcolm Muggeridge sarcastically called "the left's stations of the cross": the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in 1939; the Czech putsch in 1948; the suppression of Hungary in 1956.

Now it may be little consolation to Poles, Czechs and Hungarians, but on each occasion Russia was behaving like a great power. Beating up smaller neighbours is what great powers do: see the US record in Latin America. On Friday Putin said that Stalin was no worse than Oliver Cromwell, which may seem a little quaint, but it was Stalin who almost apologised for bullying demands on Finland with the words, "I am not responsible for geography."

Every attempt by Russia to safeguard its national interest has been seen as a provocation, when in truth the provocations have come from the west, for centuries past. When the Russians are called paranoid, I recall the writer Delmore Schwartz's wise saying that paranoiacs have enemies, too. A Russian army did not burn Paris in 1812, and Russia did not invade Germany in 1941.

Nor did Russia increase its alliances in the 90s; the west did, with an eastward expansion of Nato that was as stupid as it was disgraceful. It was a betrayal – George Bush the elder had given Mikhail Gorbachev a clear promise that the former eastern bloc countries, let alone the Baltic states newly independent of Russia, would not join Nato, on which Bill Clinton then reneged – and it was an insult.

"We have never thought of acknowledging the 'right' of Cuba or Haiti or the Republic of Panama – all of them independent sovereign states – to contract alliances which were inconsistent with the concert of the whole North American region." Thus said Walter Lippmann in 1944, and quite so. How would the Americans have reacted if Russia had invited Cuba to join the Warsaw Pact?

Even if Russian policy seems cynical and ruthless at times, it often turns out to be wiser than ours. In the 2008 crisis over South Ossetia, it was the Georgian government that picked the fight with Russia. The mind still reels at David Cameron's absurd arrival in Tblisi to demand the immediate admission of Georgia to Nato, which would have precipitated full-scale international war.

If that was what Cameron was like as opposition leader, what might he do as prime minister? Well, for the answer, look at Syria. Just as Gorbachev was stitched up over Nato, so was Putin over Libya, when he agreed to support a security council resolution ostensibly for "humanitarian" reasons, and then found it was a blatant intervention to destroy Gaddafi's regime, with predictably woeful consequences. Since then, Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, have refused to support the dazzling piece of statecraft by which our government has tried to topple Bashar al-Assad's regime, in order that Syria can be handed over to al-Qaida.

So, yuletide greetings to those newly freed in Moscow. And then perhaps a new year resolution, to leave Russia alone.

Taku2

A very cogent article. Politicians, whether they are in the East or West, are hypocrites and not to be trusted. Yet, for all his weaknesses and faults, I do believe that Putin and Lavrol are better Statepersons/diplomats than any of their counterparts in the West.

The West, consciously or otherwise, still wants to emasculate Russian. NATO and the EU have come to institutionalize this goal - like the concept of God, in that,if it did not exist, it would have been created by humankind, which has been the case, so must NATO and the EU justify their existence by creating and fomenting 'enemies.'

We now have a situation whereby the objectives of the EU and NATO are being promoted ruthlessly, irrespective of whether Europe is being led by Rightist, Left-of -Centre and/or Leftist governments.

We are being governed by The Machine/Bureacratism.

Don9000

What a pathetic excuse for an article.

The mistakes made by the US and the rest of the west don't justify the reign of Putin or his conduct, and the charge that &quo ree markets on Russia" is simply absurd. Moreover, the expansion of NATO occurred almost entirely because of former eastern block nations' developing fears in the mid to late 1990s make it as a democracy. I'd say by then that they were right to worry.

My recollection is that America largely stayed out of the transition process that took Russia from communism to capitalism. At the time the USSR collapsed, I believed my nation's reluctance to get involved was a huge mistake. In fact, I favored a massive Marshall Plan style operation on multiple fronts in order to implement a few minor details like a robust independent judiciary, and a sensible economic plan to help Russia move away from Soviet-style industry. I was hardly alone. Plenty of people on this side of the Atlantic were calling for this kind of thing back in the very early 1990s.

As for Russia's Second World War doings, I find Mr. Wheatcroft's comments extremely strange. First, while the USSR did not invade Germany in 1941, it did sign a non-aggression pact with Germany in August of 1939, and it did round up and kill over twenty thousand Polish military officers, law enforcement officials, and members of the Polish intelligentsia in 1940, not long after it joined in on Germany's invasion of Poland on 17 September 1939 and then divvied up the spoils with the Nazis.

Personally, I think Mr. Wheatcroft needs to rethink his simplistic account of reality.

BarnetisBack -> Don9000

I'd say yours is a more simplistic account that Wheatcroft's. The US didn't stay out of Russia in the 1990s if you consider their role in the horrendous economic experiment which left traumatic memories for contemporary Russians: http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/harvards-best-and-brightest-aided-russias-economic-ruin/

Yes, on its own the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was a blow to anti-fascists throughout Europe but this was a year after Munchen. Stalin's Soviet Union in 1939 acted with the cynicism of a great power but it's not as though Britain or France acted otherwise.

The expansion of NATO begun almost immediately - even in the early 1990s the west's promises were being broken. The idealism of Gorbachev was basically answered with opportunism.

None of this justifies Putin's internal repression. All the same Whearcroft is essentially right in his perspective of foreign policy towards Russia.

minsredmash -> Don9000

while the USSR did not invade Germany in 1941, it did sign a non-aggression pact with Germany in August of 1939

You either forgot or perhaps never new of what happened between GB, France and Hitler in 1938 (hint Chechoslovakia). There was absolutely nothing wrong with trying to protect our country from German invasion by signing a non-aggression pact. In fact, it was one of the best diplomatic victories of the 20th century. Speaking of the illegal expansion of NATO – it is one of the same trends that lead to Hitler's invasion of USSR in 1941. We know who we are dealing with, after all.

"American zealots attempted to impose free markets on Russia" is simply absurd phrase is not an absurd it is absolutely true.

American "advisors" set up offices in the government buildings and directed Russian officials on how to "convert" soviet industry into "private". This of course resulted in a disastrous looting of the economy and savings, creation of oligarchs etc. It is slear now that it was a deliberate attempt to ruin what's left of our country. And this will never be forgotten.

minsredmash -> Thestinger

That's only their own fault. USSR proposed to join forces against Hitler with GB, France and Poland in 1938 and was snubbed with a great deal of arrogance. Poland bit a chunk of Czechoslovakia and hoped to grab a bit of Russia with Hitler's help as well. But it didn't play that well.

spiralpad -> minsredmash

"[The Nazi-Soviet Pact] was one of the best diplomatic victories of the 20th century."

No no no! It was a disaster for the Soviet Union (of the same kind as Munish was from the British). It allowed Hitler to defeat the French and drive the British off the Continent with the consequence that the Red Arrny had to face the Germans alone. The loses in dead to the Soviet Union were huge: 9 million combat personnel and 27 million civilians. If you include the unborn children then the Nazi-Soviet Pact cost the Societ Union 46 million people. Not a victory at all.

theharper -> CaltonHill

So how about putting your own house in order before slinging muck at a country so massive and diverse few can truly contemplate it's size. One still evolving from the chaos and turmoil resulting from the collapse of the Soviet union. One where away from a tiny minority of wealthy, cosmopolitan, Moscow socialites much of the population is still steeped in religious conservatism hence the backward stance on Gay rights.

So yeah by all means exercise your right to make ill informed criticisms of a foreign leader. But what do you hope to possibly achieve in doing so? For even if Putin were listening to you, do you honestly think he would respect your opinion as you're clearly so utterly clueless about Russian reality?

Ragneur -> CaltonHill

The difference is that the evil empire accused others of using war crimes as a pretext to go to their country and commit war crimes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7ijP78Uaow

Bewarned that is a hard watch people. I'm very squeaming and had to look away when they showed the dead bodies.

THIS IS UNBELIEVABLY HEAVY. MENTALLY PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THAT BEFORE WATCHING.

I couldn't even watch this after witnessing the first. I had to look away and just listen. They are chemical weapon inflicted birth defect which I read are more common that flu in that city.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNi_1pbSqGY

5abi Don9000

The Soviet Union signed the non aggression pact with Germany after Stalin's repeated attempts to forge a united front against Germany failed because of Chamberlaine's continual appeasement of Hitler resulting in handing over Czechoslovakia and Spain to the fascists and the British attempts to encourage Germany invade the Soviet Union .
The non aggression pact was not only the only option left with Soviet Union but also was instrumental in ultimately forcing Britain to be part of anti fascist forces.

Lysicamus -> minsredmash

It is slear now that it was a deliberate attempt to ruin what's left of our country

I suspect it was just another example of the hubristic stupidity of the neo-liberals. After all, their policies have also done a lot of damage to Western economies.

minsredmash Lysicamus

You may be right, it's hard to get inside those heads, but considering the ill will towards Russia I believe that it was deliberate destruction.

minsredmash spiralpad

You don't' understand my friend. Neither France no GB wanted had any intention to join forces with Russia - I already explained. Stalin overplayed the French and British whose policy of Hitler's appeasement was designed to stir him to attack Russia instead of going West. It gave us almost 2 years and hundreds of extra territories to prepare for the war. That in the long run ensured our great victory. After all dust is settled this move will go to the text books as one of the most brilliant diplomatic victories in history.

minsredmash Mkubwa

Not sure what are trying to say. Germans killed 6 MILLION poles and would keep killing them to the end if not us saving them from total instinction. Russians lost 600,000 men just liberating Poland alone. And instead of a simple gratitude we get all kind of bs from them. Thanks.

When poles are claiming "soviet occupation" it may be embarrassing to them but we didn't kill them like Germans did, They had their own government (not independent but at least of their own nationality), courts, army, police, education, language and culture - none of which they would ever get under Hitler. So, I'm not buying any of the criticism.

Don9000 BarnetisBack

First, from where I was watching events unfold as the USSR began imploding, what you call Gorbachev's idealism looked a lot more like realism.

The involvement of a number of Harvard types, or Wall Street types, as advisers during the early years of Yeltsin's rule doesn't exactly measure up in my book to much. Yes, yes, I'm sure they made plenty of mistakes and were at times more or less delusional about what would happen as they tried to bring capitalist-style market reforms to Russia, but the same can be said of the Russian government under Yeltsin. My point remains: there was a vacuum of good governance and practical experience of democracy and capitalism in Russia after the end of the USSR, and the west should have recognized this fact and reached out much more effectively to guide the Russian government. Leaving it up to private enterprise, which is effectively what happened, was a recipe for what followed.

Don9000 minsredmash

Seriously?. Get real. The pact was welcomed by Stalin because he knew it gave him access to territories he coveted. You can read the pact in translation here: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1939pact.html. As the actual pact makes clear, in the secret part of it, the USSR fully intended to use it to justify a vast political power and territory grab (and the USSR denied this part of the pact up until its collapse):

"Secret Additional Protocol.

Article I. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and U.S.S.R. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilna area is recognized by each party.

Article II. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state, the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narev, Vistula and San.

The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish States and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments.

In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement.

Article III. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares its complete political disinteredness in these areas.

Article IV. This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret.

Moscow, August 23, 1939.

For the Government of the German Reich v. Ribbentrop

Plenipotentiary of the Government of the U.S.S.R. V. Molotov "

minsredmash Don9000

I read this a few times before :)

What is wrong with returning our land back? Polish territories that Stalin got were occupied by Poland as a result of the Polish aggression in 1920 war and belonged to Russia for hundreds of years. They were populated by Ukrainians and Byelorussians, not poles. Same goes to the Baltic territories.

One interesting moment:
"In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilna area is recognized by each party." Vilna was the capital of Lithuania and was stolen by Poland from them in 1920. Stalin gave it back to them for which they should be grateful for eternity. But of course they are not J

This was a very sweet icing on the cake - not only averted the imminent war but took the territories back. Absolutely brilliant.

BarnetisBack

A very good article in its central point. Wheatcroft gets it right in his distinction between the internal and the external. Russia as a country is not a threat to Europe (and, historically, it has been the other way round). The Russian power elites are often, however, a threat to its own people (as are the elites in most countries- even certain things differ country by country- I'd say there is more arbitrary, rather than regular or structural, injustice in Russia).

It's hard to establish how everything will play out (both Khodorkovsky and Pussy Riot were due to be released pretty soon in any case - and far from all the Bolotnaya prisoners have been released yet). So it's too early to say how this is going to develop - Khodorkovsky in any case has confirmed that he asked for clemency and maybe he won't play any particular political role now anyway. Still hard to tell. All the same interesting times.

Alice Ponomareva BarnetisBack

Surprisingly, as a Russian, I always feel the same. Rarely ashamed of Russia's foreign policy, and, most of the time - of the internal life.

Paul Davies

The west is fearful of an emerging Russia - particularly as it becomes more transparent and open. They cannot allow the demon to become an angel. Such a Russia would secure or attract, for certain, the Ukraine and other satalite states.

This is anathema to the west. Meanwhile, cockahoop by winning the battle for ukraine with his master ace card of a loan and cheap gas to ukraine, Putin confidently pokes the west in the eye by pardoning 25,000 prisoners including Khordokovsky, Pussy Riot and the Greenpeace protestors and takes the bullets out of western guns just in time for the Sochi Olympics.

UralMan

Wow. A measured and clever article on these pages for a change. Kudos to the Guardian!

KhusroK UralMan

My thoughts as well. Pleasantly surprised.

KhusroK KhusroK

1. I should add that in my opinion, for it is worth, Mr Cameron, Mr Hollande and THE POTUS, that is Mr Obama, simply do not have Mr Putin's skills when it comes to statecraft.

2. Mr Cameron, Mr Hollande and THE POTUS, that is Mr Obama, with due respect, seem to practice statecraft much like stockbrokers do their trade in shares and commodities; looking at prices from nanoseccond to nanosecond (poll ratings) and buying and selling (shifting policies) accordingly with little thought to the future consequences.

JamesValencia

Convincing.
The anti Russian rhetoric has always puzzled me a bit. Not because they're nice, because they aren't, but because

1) They don't seem nastier than anyone else. Journalists assassinated, people imprisoned on dodgy grounds. Still, what's Guantanamo, and what are Drones, and what are wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

2) The criticism doesn't sound honest, or objective, or something. Partly as a result of (1).

Could never put my finger on it. One of Obama's first successful policies, contributing to his nobel prize, was about cranking this down a bit. A shame it seems to be going into reverse.

Despite that: it doesn't seem right that Putin is still there. Yet what am I to be saying this, am I a Russian now ? Well no.

So what Geoffrey says, in amidst this confusion, is salutary.

Ragneur JamesValencia

While the west cuts off it's nose to spite it's face china know exactly where their priorities lie.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-21873944

Beckow

Good article. It also cogently devalues the stuff that Guardian has been writing about Russia for years.

Russia has re-emerged as a strong, resource-rich economy with an attractive and growing market. This is happening only partially thanks to Putin's policies, but mostly because it is just naturally a very rich country with few people. I like to remind people that Russia sits on about 1/4 of global resources, from minerals to water, from energy to forests. And they do have nukes and can do math well.

The insane anti-Russian phobias that have been so nicely epitomized by the Guardian's articles, by Cameron in Tbillsi and Milliband in Kiev, this hysteria is a dead-end street.

All it has done is to exclude UK business (and US), from Russia. It has never had a snowball's chance in hell of achieving any tangible results, other than irritate people. And that is costly. This article is a sign of some sanity.

I don't think the professional Russia haters can ever change, but if UK and Guardian can let these dead-enders go off to some asylum where they can play Pussy Riot music, hire Saakasvilli as a bodyguard, and Khodorkovsky to run the cafeteria - well, they might be happy after all. May I suggest that they bring ear-plugs and watch their wallets....

Ragneur Beckow

It hurts Russian buisness far more.

MCJ39 Steve Back

Cameron when faced with Putin sees someone immeasurably more powerful than him, a lot smarter, far more ruthless and also someone who'd win a fistfight between the pair in about 0.2 seconds. He simply has absolutely no ammunition with which to back himself up, and knows it.

Ragneur MCJ39

He's a master, principled politician. The world needs more like him.

When US favourite Prince Bandar threatened to organize a terrorist attack at the winter Olympics unless he withdrew his objection to the Syria war he laughed in his face.


AlbertaRabbit

Russia has more clout now than it has in a while. It's antics in the Ukraine and Syria are examples.

But in the long term it's a country on the wain. It's population, now less than half of the U.S., is falling (it has flattened out recently, but this is temporary). Alcholism is a serious problem. Its GDP is flat. Its economy is dependent on petroleum as the rest of the world is getting highly inventive developing new sources. And it's just not as good as America at this "capitalism" thing.

Putin might be Russia's last hurrah.

Steve Back AlbertaRabbit

But in the long term it's a country on the wain.

Haha, I think Russia's too big to fit on a wagon! I think you mean "on the wane", unless this is a form of Canadian English.

I agree though - one thing Russia has got to sort out is its low life expectancy - particularly for men, which has led to a gender imbalance.

FredinSpain

I am not surprised that Russia is like it is. After communism collapsed the west were gleeful which is fair enough but they kept rubbing Russia's nose in it for years and it's a country with a lot of proud traditions and history.

Now they have oil and gas and are using to get their own back. Handled differently without the childish triumphalism that emanated out of America and Britain mainly it could have been a different story, we might have been good friends.

pincion FredinSpain

.."Now they have oil and gas and are using to get their own back"

Who is the 'they' here. It most certainly is not the common man in the street in Russia. Russia is not in any way a democracy it is ruled by a ruthless oligarchy made up of the former and current KGB/FSB bigwigs who are rich beyond avarice since everything in Russia including all the organs of state is their private possession. No different then to the Soviet Union under the Communist Party and Imperial Russia under the Tsars.

FredinSpain epincion

Which was my point. If the west had offered genuine friendship at the start instead of "yah boo we won" it might have been a different class of people in charge and friendly proper democracy.

But they were surrounded by enemies on all sides and became paranoid allowing the oligarchy to seize power. It could have all been so different.

But "The moving finger writes ....."

exCaptain epincion

Rich beyond avarice? You don't mean rich beyond Haliburton and al-Yamamah, do you?

DrSigmundFraud FredinSpain

"without the childish triumphalism that emanated out of America and Britain mainly it could have been a different story, we might have been good friends."

America would not have been good friends with a country it had spent decades telling people was the enemy, and Britain was never going to be friends with a country America does not like.

5abi epincion

'Democracy' in common usage means a government elected through multiparty electoral process. Nothing more, nothing less. Otherwise all 'democratic' governments are actually controlled and run by people who are never elected - oligarchs, corporations, feudal lords or whatever.

MannyGoldstein

Well done. The USA, in particular, seems to always view Russia through a lens provided by people with ancient grudges against it. Putin's regime has done better for the average Russian than the free-market disaster of the 90s.

MayerLansky

The Western ruling class never found a better game for itself than the "Great Game" which began (I am sure I will be corrected if I am wrong) in the 17th Century. The US has no politics of its own but has taken over the methods of the 'sceptered Isle' - hypocrisy; piracy and the ethics of a drunken stoat.

MayerLansky

A very fine article by Wheatcroft. This is the Guardian I subscribed to forty years ago.

Thank you Sir for your insight maturity and moderation.

But please. No more salacious BLT stories about the olympics by biased agents like Reenie Stubbs and no more graphic inquests on the vagina.

If the Guardian plans to survive by pandering and demagogy it will find itself without any real long-term support. I know I do not speak for myself alone.

Prologstudent MayerLansky

biased agents like Reenie Stubbs

You mean a gay woman standing up for the rights of gay people in Russia? Is it just gay people you believe don't have rights, or are there any other groups?

MayerLansky Prologstudent

"No talk of rights without talk of responsibilities". Simone Weill.

GodsDrone

Yes, the Anglo world in particular has long had rumor-mongering as its first line of attack. I don't think future generations are going to be any more impressed than we are with our shoddy behavior.

As the EU recedes in Ukraine's Rearview Mirror, It Discovers It Has Forgotten How to Lose

PR is taking against its former legal counsel – the dynamic troika Feigin, Volkova and Polozov
The Kremlin Stooge
Moscow Exile says: December 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm
By the way, something that the Western press seems not to have (purposefully?) noticed since the release of its heroines from the "gulag" – and their looking remarkably fit and healthy for it as well, as did the mega-thief Khodorkovsky, despite the horrors of the indescribably cruel and sadistic Russian prison regime and the hunger-strikes undergone by those two incredibly brave women – is the absence of the weasely Verzilov.

Remember, Saint Natasha publicly disowned Pete the Pedo from any association with Pussy Riot ©.

And the action that PR is taking against its former legal counsel – the dynamic troika Feigin, Volkova and Polozov, of whom neither hide nor hair has been seen since the glorious heroines' return to freedom seems to have been forgotten as well. The dynamic trio, of course, were not part of the PR welcoming committee in Moskva.

As a matter of fact, last I heard, Feigin's film-maker spouse has the copyright on "Pussy Riot".

marknesop says:

I'm sure they will have to do or say something outrageous right away, to show their public that prison did not break them and that their revolutionary spirit burns bright and hot. But I hope they will journey somewhere else to do it. I would love to see them flinging themselves about and screaming about shit and the Virgin at Washington National Cathedral in DC – perhaps they could go on a Church Disrespecting Tour in the United States. After all, that is their main fan base.

I guess you're right, I haven't followed any of it on TV because I very seldom ever watch TV, but there has been – remarkably – no mention of Verzilov. Was there an emotional reunion for the cameras of Saint Nadia and her little daughter? You would think that would have been the moment for the long-suffering husband to wrap her in his strong arms and tell her everything is going to be all right.

yalensis says:

GAZETA Headline: Pussy Riot is not expecting money from Khodorkovsky.

TRANSLATION

Maria Alokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Pussy Riot activists liberated from prison, say they are not expecting to receive any finanacial aid from ex-Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The activists made this statement in an interview with the TV channel Dozhd.

"Under no circumstances was there any talk of financial assistance," Tolokonnikova declared. "He [Khodorkovsky] is important to us as a very strong person, an incomparable personality, who underwent a much harsher prison experience than either of us."

"The collaboration that we have in mind is more ideological and conceptual," she clarified.

Earlier, Tolokonnikova/Alokhina had written an appeal to Khodorkovsky, in which they expressed the hope for future collaborations with him.

The girls told (the interviewer) that their human-rights activities will be financed by voluntary contributions.

"People will give us money via crowd-funding," Tolokonnikova explained.

Alokhina added that in their attempts to set up a transparent funding scheme for Pussy Riot, they will be assisted by Alexei Navalny, Sergei Vlasov, and others.

END OF TRANSLATION

yalensis note:

Navalny's "transparent" crowd-funding scheme consists of him receiving massive amounts of money from 2 oligarchs; then his internet followers transfer a few hundred rubles via Yandex, from their own meager bank accounts back into the oligarchs accounts, in order to "reimburse" them for their significant donations to Navalny.

So, for Pussy Riot to emulate this scheme, they will have to get the backing of a wealthy oligarch or two. Otherwise, all they can expect from the "crowd-funding" is a meager income of a few hundred rubles here and there. Not serious money, and not even enough to live on. I suppose for them the idea of getting a proper job is out of the question?

Jen says:

Just the way Tolokonnikova makes that statement about receiving money via crowd-funding, as though she and Alyokhina expect the money spigot to be turned on and constantly running the moment it goes online, is strange.

Isn't it rather daft of the two women to say they will be collaborating with Khodorkovsky? What sort of "ideological and conceptual" collaboration do they have in mind: writing future political speeches if he decides he wants to go into politics again?

Moscow Exile says:

The elephant in the room is that Khodorkovsky is an out-and-out capitalist whilst they are supposed to be anarchists or whatever.

yalensis says:

By "conceptual", I have to assume they mean "conceptual art". Which means that they and Khodorkovsky are planning some kind of performance art spectacle, along the lines of their previous masterpieces, such as "Fuck the Bear", "Snatch the Chicken", or "Hang the Tadjik".

kirill says:

These monkeys are deluded that they represent some sort of voice for the masses. That their filthy theatrics will foment a revolution against the democratically elected and representative "regime". The farcical aspect is that they are merely parroting methods used in completely different eras with fundamentally distinct political conditions. They, and their patron Khodor the murderous gangster boss, are not going to be some valve to relieve the pressure building up in society. There is none and this is not 1917. Instead they will remain the circus freak show that they have been so far.

Of course, the west will try to paint them as some sort of fighters for freedom and justice. But the west is just full of hate for Russia so it's bleating cannot be taken at face value.

marknesop says:

They're just trying to raise their image as a political act by tying themselves to current events. I could almost feel sorry for Khodorkovsky, because expectations for him seem to have his short-term life all mapped out regardless what he might want – which is likely to make money and return to something like his former wealth. While it's perfectly true that some political leaders have crazy money, they usually had it before they went into politics, and once you enter politics there are (theoretically) all sorts of roadblocks to your actually making money. For one, politics demands most of your time, you have to be constantly available for photo-ops and soundbites. For another, most countries consider it a conflict of interest for you to be engaged in business activities while you are involved in public service, and the curbs (again, theoretically) get more rigid as your perceived influence mounts, as you could be getting into a position where you could literally order customers to patronize your business or face political disfavor.

I personally never thought Khodorkovsky desired a political role for himself, although there is plenty of anecdotal evidence which suggests he was considering a presidential run. For the reasons I have already stated, it would have restricted his money-making activities, while he could have actually controlled Russian politics (and, most importantly, the legislating of regulations) from the background – had his financing of the opposition borne fruit – while not having to accept any restrictions on his business activities.

reggietcs says:

Bono, Madonna, Sting & Paul McCartney will fund them. Peter Gabriel will then invite them to record at his famous REAL WORLD studio (must admit, the irony would be smashing as there's nothing musically "real" about PR whatsoever).

On a serious note, I think their 15 minutes of fame is probably up since they've already served their purpose. Mark Sleboda seems to think this is just the beginning, while I disagree and think it's really the beginning of the end.

kirill says:

The problem is lack of traction amongst Russians. These sick twats can be celebrities in the west but they will not be anything but hoodlums in Russia. All of these colour revolution, Gene Sharp techniques being deployed in Russia and Ukraine lack the fertile ground in which to sprout a revolution. Instead, they will result in a blowback as it becomes increasingly clear to people that these muppets are serving a clear anti-Russian and anti-Ukrainian agenda.

marknesop says:

I agree, because any attempt to make them actually play music and sing will only showcase how little talent they have. I'm not suggesting you have to have talent to play music – God knows there's an abundance of evidence to the contrary – but they will never be able to achieve the prominence as straight artists that they enjoyed as persecuted political waifs who did not have to prove they could entertain. Not unless they channel seventies Alice Cooper, and bite the heads off bats and vamp around with snakes or something. Music at bottom is still primarily for entertainment, although it does have somewhat of a role in inspiration.

marknesop says:

What do they need with money? Isn't that the very essence of materialism and the polar opposite of the free life of the anarchist? Dear me; how prison has changed them, and not for the better. They went in as CrashDollz and came out as Madonna.

[Dec 26, 2013] Бешеным писькам есть отчего горевать

Dec. 24th, 2013

Они, по идее, должны быть еще и в обиде. Инфоволна с их выпуском наложилась на более шумную - с откинувшимся МБХ. Туда большая часть печенек и ушла. Потом уже побежали с остатками банкета к "девушкам".

А ведь могли встречать у ворот Стинг и Бжорк! Там Стинг, тут Бжорк и телеграмма с Йокооно. Интервью с Собчак, прямой эфир по Дождю, Euronews и CNN. "Мне есть что сказать!"

Наверняка именно это согревало долгими зимними вечерами. Письки чувствуют, по всей видимости, что с ними поступили несправедливо, оставили одни объедки. Поэтому и столь резки пока в оценках.

[Dec 25, 2013] LiveJournal

узницы тупости ;-)

Юрий Лоза о Pussy Riot: "Предлагаю называть их узницами тупости"

Известный композитор считает, что излишне повышенный интерес к участницам группы неоправдан, а, главное, "плодит таких же шизоидных последователей, совершающих дебильные поступки ради будущей минуты славы".

Далеко не все медийные персоны и известные российские личности одобряют деятельность участниц группы Pussy Riot. В частности, с жесткой критикой как самих участниц скандальной панк-группы, так и повышенного интереса к ним, выступил известный композитор и певец Юрий Лоза. Не стесняясь в определениях, он эмоционально и четко изложил свою позицию по этому поводу.

"Что-то я не пойму журналистов. Неужели в нашей стране совсем нет интересных, компетентных и авторитетных собеседников?

Ну отпустили этих панк-идиоток из колонии, пусть идут по домам и ума набираются. Чего с ними разговаривать об улучшении пенитенциарной системы и спрашивать их мнение о положении узников совести в государстве? Вы ещё об экономике с ними поговорите или о политической ситуации в мире! Расспросите их о станковой живописи, а ещё лучше узнайте их мнение о бозоне Хиггса!

Они уже с вашей лёгкой руки возомнили себя правозащитницами, собираются что-то отстаивать, с чем-то бороться и заниматься общественной деятельностью! И это при том, что трёх слов не могут связать!

Моё твёрдое убеждение - эти дамочки заслуживают лишь пинка под зад и полного забвения. Но когда о них столько пишут и говорят, да ещё с постоянными упоминаниями фамилий, они пунцовеют от своей значимости и начинают "щёки надувать". Но самое противное - они плодят таких же шизоидных последователей, совершающих дебильные поступки ради будущей минуты славы.

Предлагаю с сегодняшнего дня называть их узницами тупости и ни при каких условиях не произносить их имён. Не заслужили".

http://www.mk.ru/politics/article/2013/12/24/963987-yuriy-loza-o-pussy-riot-predlagayu-nazyivat-ih-uznitsami-tuposti.html

[Dec 25, 2013] Pussy Riot наплевали на детей и обещания

+ в цитатник Освобожденные по амнистии участницы панк-группы Pussy Riot Надежда Толоконникова и Мария Алехина во вторник встретились в Красноярске. Как рассказал Верзилов, Алехина и Толоконникова пробудут в Красноярске еще день-два. "Они будут обсуждать разные планы на будущее, в том числе и озвученные в понедельник планы по созданию движения по защите прав заключенных. Из Красноярска Толоконникова и Алехина улетят вместе в Москву", - сказал он. Верзилов также сообщил, что девушки в пятницу в Москве соберут журналистов.

Участницы группы Pussy Riot заявили, что не смогли допеть свою песню в Храме Христа Спасителя - второй молебен непременно должен получиться лучше

Стоп. Насчет "второго молебна". Прозвизделись, значит, заявляя "после освобождения девушки не намерены проводить акции, аналогичные выступлению в Храме Христа Спасителя в феврале 2012 года" из-за того, что это "это является уголовным преступлением мы бы не пошли в Храм Христа Спасителя снова и, безусловно, в любой храм".
Ну и клево до невероятия - девушки делают что угодно, но не едут к своим "детушкам, которые без мамасек так скучают". А ведь сколько было статей и болтовни "отпустите любящих матерей к маленьким деточкам, они дома одиноко плачут".

German TV channel ZDF paid money for Pussy Riot support

Jun 23, 2013

Благодаря болтливости известной в Германии актрисы Анны Тальбах (Аnna Thalbach) мы узнали, что респектабельный немецкий канал ZDF (Второе немецкое телевидение), оказывается, подкреплял искренние порывы поддержать гопниц из группы с "целомудренным" названием "Беснующиеся ..." и облить Путина вместе с Русской Церковью грязью денежными вознаграждениями, причём, по словам самой Анны, очень значительными. Самым пикантным в этой истории является то, что на вопрос "что же ты там наговорила за такую кучу денег?", актриса со смешком ответила: "Я уже и не помню".

Надеюсь, что нобелевская лауреатка по литературе Герта Мюллер (Herta Mueller), многомудрая журналистка Алиса Шварцер (Alice Schwarzer), актриса Юлия Йенч (Julia Jentsch) и "свободно" владеющая русским языком певица Нина Хаген (Nina Hagen), которые также выступили в этой передаче с гневными разоблачениями российского "режима" и обвинениями православных в фундаментализме, не сильно обиделись на Тальбах за то, что она выставила их проплаченными попугаями, т.к. хорошие деньги за ложь, судя по всему, получили и они.

Это ли не лучшее утешение?

[Jun 07, 2013] Stubborn Deniers of Reality, Thy Name is Western Journalism Posted on

May 25, 2013 |

R.C.

Common dreams.org, that website of liberal/progressive muckraking, has posted another laughable "tribute" to Pussy Riot:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/06/02-2

I would respond, but they banned me last year after only 3 posts. I find it interesting that several of our regulars here (Anatoly, Mark, Alex, etc.;) have been banned from some "sites" for making rational, respectful arguments (Laughingly, many of these venues consider themselves "liberal" like The Guardian).

It took only 3 posts for common-dreams to ban me last year (around the time of PR's trial). One would think they'd show respect for polite divergent opinions, but instead, they allowed another combative poster who supported PR to go around the site and hurl insulting expletives at those who saw through the Pussy Riot campaign.

Naturally, he wasn't banned.

Alexander Mercouris
June 2, 2013 at 10:11 am

Dear RC,

Congratulations on getting banned.

What I find particularly ironic is that the whole point of the western narrative of the Pussy Riot case is that it is supposed to be about the suppression of free expression and of the right to protest.

As we see the champions of free speech and of the right to protest quickly become the censors and suppressors when they encounter facts or arguments which contradict their narrative. I suppose I could say something about the hypocrisy and double standard of it all but the reality speaks for itself.

marknesop
June 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Too true, and one would quickly see the same from the liberals in Russia and their claque of intelligentsia, were they ever to gain power. The first requirement of power is to safeguard and keep it, and therefore there must be credible deterrents for every threat. Those in power rationalize that it is for the people's good, and that they will not be in a position to do good things for the people if the electorate should listen to silly gossip generated by their opposition and perhaps remove them before their true potential can be felt. And they are genuinely hurt when agents of the opposition refer to it as "repression" and an effort to narrow the people's choice…to one.

But that's what it is, and everyone is the same. Perhaps that's what Lord Acton meant.

R.C.
June 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I wish someone here would register with common dreams so they can tell posters there that PR weren't sent to a "Siberian gulag for simply singing a song."

What nonsense.

No wonder I was banned.

Acton was SPOT ON. I'm sure this is exactly what he meant.

What I find particularly comical, is how highly selective American liberals are with their pet "causes." Evo Morales & Hugo Chavez giving NGO's the boot is fine since they are leftist firebrand leaders, but when the same is done in Russia, they swear up and down that these NGO's don't interfere and it's all a creation of the "paranoid Kremlin propaganda mill." They fail to even realize that Putin, Morales and Chavez are staunch nationalist who place the interests of their countries before anything else – which is why they are targeted. Just because the first two are firebrand leftists and the other a conservative/centrist matters little to western elites.

I've tried to explain it to them but they don't really don't care to hear it. As Glenn Greenwald ahs pointed out time and time again, cheap partisan hackery wins the day in American discourse.

So, employing their leftist logic, NGO's in Russia are upright "promoters of Democracy" being oppressed by the evil Russian state, but in South America they are "meddling and trying to overthrow leftist leaders." The reality is that they are attempting to destroy/disrupt ALL nationalist leaders who won't kowtow to western elites, regardless of what end of the political spectrum they may fall on.

Robert
June 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm

That's exactly right. The Western elites hate resource nationalists whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. The issue is whether you support comprador elites subservient to the US or national sovereignty. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice.

marknesop
June 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm

There are a few nuggets of truth among the blather, though; "While public opinion polls show that a good portion of the offended Russian populace finds the punishment fitting, international outrage from the likes of Paul McCartney, Madonna, and even the Obama administration has helped make the trio into global political heroines-martyrs of Putin's controversial third term and a narrowing tolerance for divergent political opinions.

The article quite accurately points out that it is only international meddling that keeps the screeching anarchists alive in the news cycle, and you can expect them to be periodically mentioned – just to ensure they're not forgotten – and peaking to a crescendo around their release. If Putin is smart, he will announce they are being deported to the USA. The USA could hardly refuse them, could it; not after this outpouring of sympathy??

I wonder what Sir Paul's reaction would have been to their crashing a McCartney concert and flashing their asses and shouting about God's shit. Well, first off, he wouldn't understand a word, but I'm betting it wouldn't be "No!! Leave them alone!! Let them SING!!!!" as security rushed to drag them off. Comes to that, there's probably a hell of a lot more security at a McCartney concert than there is at the Moscow Cathedral.

R.C.

……Nor would Madonna had PR "crashed" one of the Kabbalah centers she frequents in NYC. Madge's security detail probably would've had something to "say" about that.

I continue to find it incredible how these celebrities can't comprehend WHY the church-goers WOULDN'T be offended by this display. You'd think it would be common sense, but I don't think I've ever heard any of these western celebrities express any regret for the feelings of church-goers who were peacefully assembled. If this had been done at St. Paul's Cathedral in NYC, those girls probably would've been beaten by angry church-goers and then hauled off to jail.

And the guff about the Obama Administration being concerned…….

PLEASE.

They don't seem to be all that "concerned" about Bahrain beating REAL pro-democracy protesters or Saudi Arabia running a feudal monarchy right out of the 8th century. This selective "outrage" in regards to Russia should embarrass them, but it doesn't and they are allowed to get away with it because the US Media simply ignores the transgressions of US "allies" who engage in FAR more egregious crimes.

Robert

The Guardian is still at it. Latest article on the feminist freedom fighters

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/31/celebrate-fuck-you-pussy-riot-alyokhina?INTCMP=SRCH

The west's hypocrisy over Pussy Riot is breathtaking Simon Jenkins Comment is free by Simon Jenkins

The Guardian

Our courts now jail at the drop of a headline – for stealing water or abuse sent on Twitter. So who are we to condemn Russia?

Jump to comments (879)

Anyone in England and Wales with a dog out of control can now be jailed for six months. If the dog causes injury, the maximum term is to be two years. I have no sympathy for such people. Keeping these beasts is weird, and those who do it probably need treatment. But the Defra minister, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, complained in May that fewer than 20 people were in jail for dangerous dog offences. The sentencing council has duly told courts to raise the threshold to two years, "to send a message".

The same sentiment a year ago motivated magistrates to play to the gallery by jailing 1,292 people for stealing bottles of water or trainers or sending idiot incitements during the dispersed rampage dubbed "urban riots". Hysterical ministers raced home from holiday to tell judges to send messages. Judges duly ruined the lives of hundreds of young people, at great public expense and to no advantage to their victims. I have no sympathy for these people either, but again the politicised response to crime was disproportionate.

A month before, a London court jailed a stoned Charlie Gilmour after he swung on a union flag from the Cenotaph and tossed a bin at a police car, thus causing widespread outrage in the offices of the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. The judge sent him down for 18 months to send a message carefully designed to wreck his university career. Yet again we need have no sympathy for Gilmour. But there is no such thing as a rap over the knuckles in jail. Judges know that any term in prison is a sentence for life.

How can British politicians, whose statements clearly seek to influence pliable judges, criticise other sovereign states for doing likewise? Last week the Foreign Office professed itself "deeply concerned" at the fate of Russia's Pussy Riot three, jailed for two years for "hooliganism" in Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral. They had staged what, by all accounts, was an obscene publicity stunt, videoing an anti-Putin song defamatory of the Virgin Mary in front of pious worshippers.

Good for free speech, we might all say. That the act outraged public decency is an understatement. In a Levada poll of Russian public opinion, just 5% thought the girls should go unpunished and 65% wanted them in prison, 29% with hard labour. Artists round the globe may plead free speech, but to treat the Pussy Riot gesture as a glorious stand for artistic liberty is like praising Johnny Rotten, who did similar things, as the Voltaire of our day. There can be disproportionate apologias as well as disproportionate sentences.

Artists can look after their own. For the British and US governments to get on high horses about Russian sentencing is hypocrisy. America and Britain damned the "disproportionate" Pussy Riot terms. In America's case this was from a nation that jails drug offenders for 20, 30 or 40 years, holds terrorism "suspects" incommunicado indefinitely and imprisons for life even trivial "three strikes" offenders. Last week alone a US military court declared that reporting the Guantánamo Bay trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be censored. Any mention of his torture in prison was banned as "reasonably expected to damage national security". This has no apparent connection to proportionate punishment or freedom of speech.

The British security establishment during the Tony Blair-Gordon Brown regime tried to censor history books for possible "terrorist" incitement. It introduced control orders, restricted courts and long-period detention without trial. It made unlicensed demonstrating an offence and has since sought prosecution of Twitter and Facebook abuse. British ministers and courts are craven to what passes for public opinion. The idea that, whenever a crime or antisocial action hits the headlines, "the courts must send a message" is politicised justice. At times, especially in tragic cases involving children, it gets near to a lynch mob. Again the only message sent is to the media. If Britain's draconian sentencing were effective, British jails would not be bursting at the seams.

There is of course a difference between the liberties enjoyed in most western democracies and the cruder jurisprudence of modern Russia, China and much of the Muslim world. It would be silly to pretend otherwise. But the difference is not so great as to merit the barrage of megaphone comment from west to east. Pussy Riot may have attacked no one physically, but no society, certainly not Britain, legislates on the basis that "words can never hurt". If a rock group invaded Westminster Abbey and gravely insulted a religious or ethnic minority before the high altar, we all know that ministers would howl for "exemplary punishment" and judges would oblige.

Commenting on the social mores of other countries may offer an offshore outlet for the righteous indignation of politicians and editorialists. It has no noticeable effect. Western comments on the treatment of women in Muslim states, dissidents in China or drug offenders in south-east Asia are dismissed as imperial interference. But then how would we feel if Moscow or Singapore or Tehran condemned the treatment of Cenotaph protesters?

British courts jail at the drop of a headline. One of the few cabinet ministers in recent years to show a sincere desire to relate punishment to crime and imprisonment to consequence is the justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke. He is now being bad-mouthed out of his job by Downing Street's dark arts, frightened not of Clarke but of the rightwing press. Clarke is, with Iain Duncan Smith, a rare minister intellectually engaged with his job and eager courageously to see it through. Why are the Lib Dems not defending him? For David Cameron to sack Clarke would indeed send a message. Of the worst sort.

Selected Comments

PaulfromYorkshire

Mr Jenkins I completely agree with you. Cracking article.

You are right to make the distinction between what we think as individuals about Pussy Riot and what our hypocritical government says.

conanthebarbarian
8:40PM

Pointing fingers at other countries keeps the chatterers below the line here and elsewhere usefully engaged pointing out other people's supposed faults. Didn't someone once reportedly say something about looking at the beam in one's own eye first?

Not many do.

Recommend (595) Responses (2)

Simon Dosovitz

What am I supposed to say to this article? Yes, we really are the worst, and if the Russian people think feminists should do two years for a trite protest, so be it. Totally ridiculous. End bad practices here in the west AND free Pussy Riot.

Recommend (587) Responses (2)

Epanastis25Martiou

The west's hypocrisy over Pussy Riot is breathtaking

You can swap "pussy riot" with any other incident and the phrase will still hold true.

Go on try it!!!

Recommend (460) Responses (2)

whimsicaleye

For the British and US governments to get on high horses about Russian sentencing is hypocrisy.

The UK and US governments care not for freedom of expression, they are just pissed off that Russia is no longer led by a drunken fool a la Yeltsin ready and willing to hand over the country to the IMF asset strippers.

A Saudi journalist gets illegally extradited from Malaysia and imprisoned in Saudi Arabia without trial or due process for tweeting honest thoughts about the prophet - silence from the West.

Thai citizens legitimately criticizing their monarchy end up in prison - silence from the West.

The hypocrisy is sickening and highlights how the UK and US care not for 'human rights' or 'freedom of expression' but use these memes as a tool to further their geopolitical interests and ferment unrest whilst remaining silent on the human rights abuses carried out in states that tow the line.

Recommend (1423) Responses (4)

kingcreosote

Response to conanthebarbarian,

It seems the only way we can live with our own shortcomings is to be in complete denial.

Recommend (183) Responses (1)

hoverboards

Last week the Foreign Office professed itself "deeply concerned" at the fate of Russia's Pussy Riot

What a lovely sentence.

Recommend (236) Responses (1)

tomper2

by jailing 1,292 people for stealing bottles of water or trainers ...

Oh for heaven's sake, people died during that "dispersed rampage".

Recommend (538) Responses (4)

shaun

Exemplary punishment ; if a rioter is jailed for two years for stealing £10's worth of water. then a Banker should get two years added to his sentence for each ten pounds stolen or frauded from the public. So; £10 = 2 years, £100 = twenty years, £1'000 = two hundred years ......1 billion£ (1'000'000'000) is one hundred thousand years in prison. That at least is proportionally correct.

Recommend (963) Responses (2)

brijl92

You are you saying that we are hypocritical to condemn Russia when we are harsher over here? That's just not true. You can trivialise the riots as "stealing bottles of water" but it was total contempt for society and the rioters were (generally) lucky not to kill. As for why the prisons are full, hasn't that got a lot to do with the fact that they are perceived as a soft touch-did you hear the Salford yob who murdered Anuj Bidve mocking his sentence?

In the case of Pussy Riot, seems to me that the Russian people are fairly clear that gross disrespect is something that they will not tolerate and it's got little to do with Putin. The comparison to the West is indeed chastening - they are prepared to stand up against publicity-seeking punks who disrespect everything around them. We would give them a community order and wait for the next escalation.

Your point about full prisons has more to do with a lack of deterrence than a harshness in sentencing. As for the excellent Mr Clarke, can any Justice Secretary explain why drugs and fags are still tolerated in our jails - to outlaw them tomorrow would be the biggest single deterrent possible -it should be fixed by any competent minister, day 1. As for considering IDS a minister "intellectually engaged with his job" that's about as accurate as the portrayal of Pussy Riot as political martyrs. Free Stephanie Flanders!

Recommend (194) Responses (1)

Adommc

Good article. Though..

If the dog causes injury, the maximum term is to be two years. I have no sympathy for such people. Keeping these beasts is weird, and those who do it probably need treatment.

'Keeping these beasts' is compassionate and humane and if you've been to the Caribbean or Africa, you'd have seen how lucky domesticated dogs in the UK are. But overall, i'm grateful for this article, it at least made me grateful knowing that i'm not a sociopath for not finding treatment of the girls as hysterical as most of the world media portrayed.

Recommend (113) Responses (3)

bootboys

Response to hermionegingold,

Not sure about that. the pussy riot girls have made a laughing stock of the thug putin. i don't think that's such a bad thing. what they did was distasteful to me but how they have been treated is far more distressing.

What a tender soul! What do you find so distressing? That these girls - two of them mothers, let's not forget - can't continue their practices of museum orgies or masturbating with frozen chickens in the supermarket? They're obviously not as delicate as you.

Recommend (311) Responses (8)

Silverwhistle

Our courts now jail at the drop of a headline – for stealing water or abuse sent on Twitter. So who are we to condemn Russia?

Well, quite a lot of "us" don't support gross overreactions by British courts either, and didn't vote for the current government, so yes, I feel perfectly free to condemn Putin's government, too.

Recommend (346) Responses (0)

teaandchocolate

Iain Duncan Smith, a rare minister intellectually engaged with his job and eager courageously to see it through.

I agree with most of the article, except for this one. IDS, along with Fox, Osborne and Gove, is ruining everythng that is good about Britian.

Recommend (543) Responses (1)

Neville Walker

Good article Simon, though you might have added that the CPS recently tried to frame an innocent (but troublesome) man for possessing photographs of legal sexual practices that were neither especially extreme nor particularly uncommon.

Recommend (177) Responses (0)

hermionegingold

Response to bootboys,

9:11PM get off your perch dear.

i intrinsically find anyone entering a house of worship to derail those of genuine faith a no no. just bad manners

that's all i meant. nothing more .

Recommend (129) Responses (2)

Silverwhistle

Response to bootboys,

9:11PM What a tender soul! What do you find so distressing? That these girls - two of them mothers, let's not forget - can't continue their practices of museum orgies or masturbating with frozen chickens in the supermarket?

They're not harming anyone. And what relevance is it that 2 of them have children, other than it highlights the cruelty of the criminal justice system's overreaction in sending them to prison?

lundiel
9:17PM

Well said Simon. I couldn't believe it when Pussy Riot was the main news story on the day the South African miners were shot dead.

kingcreosote

Response to lundiel,

9:17PM Then they threatened to sack the rest, a British company acting like ancient colonialists who regarded the lives of black people inferior.

How far have we actually moved on when there is so little outcry over atrocities done in our name?

hermionegingold

Response to kingcreosote,

9:17PM kidnap is a criminal offence, quite rightly, offending religious beliefs shouldn't be.

not sure what your point is?

Recommend (102) Responses (2)

rkshvch

That's ridiculous. I've never thought an article like this may appear on The Guardian. Thanks Simon Jenkins!

Recommend (144) Responses (0)

Neville Walker

Response to hermionegingold,

think you miss his point, which is that disproportionate and unjust as the treatment of Pussy Riot has been, the legal systems in the UK and US are often guilty of very similar misdemeanours. Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, 42 days (kicked out, thankfully), trial by tabloid, and so on. Not to mention the US' continued addiction to the death penalty or its vindictive (and probably illegal) treatment of Bradley Manning.
gwp3

"the courts must send a message" is politicised justice

Absolutely. The duty of the court is to impose just sentences on the guilty, not to send messages to the population at large.

rkshvch

Response to whimsicaleye,

The UK and US governments care not for freedom of expression, they are just pissed off that Russia is no longer led by a drunken fool a la Yeltsin ready and willing to hand over the country to the IMF asset strippers.

Absolutely true. Same about every other concerns about "democracy" and "freedom" in other countries usually spoken by Hillary etc.

Arapas

Our courts now jail at the drop of a headline – for stealing water or abuse sent on Twitter. So who are we to condemn Russia?

That just about sums it all up -- No need to read the rest of the article! I was brought up to believe what a terrible place the USSR was. In fact it was the only place on the planet I never wanted to visit, having been everywhere else. Times do change though. The collapse of the Soviet Union, brought about a change of mind. I decided to travel East, life is too short, and I did not want to miss out!

What I felt during my two visits there, was that I was deceived by others but also my self. Life in Russia is unique. You could not wish for a friendlier people. The streets were ABSOLUTELY spotless, and every female young and old dressed immaculately. On the Moscow Metro youngsters were literally flying off their seats to offer them to the elders! That is how it used to be on London's underground when I was a student, many decades ago, but not any more. The Russians are proud and peaceful people. They love their churches. Old ladies turn up in the middle of the day to light their candles. It was outside one of these churches that I met for the first time "Nicholas the Tsar, Lenin and Pushkin" having a conversation -- I did not part with my 200 Roubles though!

Now bring into play Pussy Riot into this kind of environment, and you create an explosive cocktail. For that what it was. And the church with the legal system will not stand for it. Then blame it all on Putin, and everybody is happy. Petty windedness. That is what it is. And it does not make us any better one iota.

mikedow

The finger pointing our govts. do is solely for domestic use. The other countries don't raise an eyebrow over what is said anymore.

Banner

Comparing sentences between e.g. Britain and Russia is a pointless exercise. The point is rather that Pussy Riot are held by many to be victims of arbitrary law-making by a supine and corrupt judiciary. What does Simon jenkins say, for example, about the case of the Czech rockers Plastic People of the Universe in the 1970s with which this case has been very plausibly compared. Would he have stood up for the authorities then, merely on the basis that "western justice" is not perfect?

hermionegingold

Response to Neville Walker,

actually i think your assessment has more clarity than the article.

that justice is yet another failed venture we have embarked upon my view is that russia on this one is about 20 years out of date. the next generation over there are making a political stand. i think we should support them even if we don't always agree with their methods (and by that i mean sensibilities never violence)

fishenchips

But then how would we feel if Moscow or Singapore or Tehran condemned the treatment of Cenotaph protesters?

I wouldn't feel anything, beyond acknowledging they'd be fuckin' morons if they did.

Anyone who defaces the cenotaph is a tool. Anyone who offends the misogynistic, homophobic and racist bigots that wield power in the Russian Orthodox Church - to say nothing of mocking the thug Putin - is making a stand.

Why are you incapable of making this obvious distinction, Jenkins?

gwp3

Response to Neville Walker,

I think you miss his point, which is that disproportionate and unjust as the treatment of Pussy Riot has been, the legal systems in the UK and US are often guilty of very similar misdemeanours. Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, 42 days (kicked out, thankfully), trial by tabloid, and so on. Not to mention the US' continued addiction to the death penalty or its vindictive (and probably illegal) treatment of Bradley Manning.

I agree. It seems that many readers have missed the essence of the article.

SoaringSkys

Response to bootboys,

"can't continue their practices of museum orgies or masturbating with frozen chickens in the supermarket?"

You didn't mention what they were convicted of so I guess the church thing wasn't so serious after all.

And now the likelihood of seeing frozen chickens thawed out in the market place has increased exponentially as pussy riot avengers will hit the streets with protest.

LinearBandKeramik

Response to brijl92,

You are you saying that we are hypocritical to condemn Russia when we are harsher over here? That's just not true. You can trivialise the riots as "stealing bottles of water" but it was total contempt for society and the rioters were (generally) lucky not to kill.

Contempt for society is not a crime. If it were, there'd hardly be a Thatcherite outside of prison.

As for the rioters being lucky not to kill, that's not how justice works. If you commit a crime, and there is evidence you committed it, you get charged. Then there is a trial, and if the evidence is deemed strong enough by a jury, you get punished.

You don't randomly hand out draconian sentences to some rioters for trivial offences, because the rioters "in general" could, maybe, possibly have killed someone if things had turned out differently. That's contrary to any notion of justice.

You can only be legitimately punished for actions you personally carried out and which actually happened. How you (or anyone) can disagree with this notion is beyond me.

clarkbgwent

Look up Jamie Bevan. Welsh Language activist imprisoned initially for action against the unelected Tory government's Cardiff offices, in protest against their cavalier attitude to S4C. Further punishment was meted out to him for- get this- insisting on filling in forms in Welsh. Welsh being a language that, in law, carries equal standing with English in the Merthyr area where he is detained. While a man is in prison for wanting to interact with the legal system of his own country in his own language, we have a Pussy Riot of our own.

kingcreosote

Response to hermionegingold,

Exactly the point of the article the west is just as guilty as Russia in its hypocrisy and so are many of its leaders.
Foster6the6imposter6

This article is about as true as it can get....

The West has its blasphemy, the Russians theirs.....just change the name of who you call the powerful, and the name of who is going to do time. When you do that, the hypocrisy becomes obvious.

SD1000

@blueballoo2000, it's not that we don't have a right to criticise Russia, it's that we should be criticising our own political and media establishment equally loudly.

Putin's government is abhorrent and dictatorial, and worse than ours. Nevertheless, our government is pretty bloody awful too, willing to trample on human rights to satisfy the right wing press.

It's easy to attack Russia. Attacking Britain would be cleverer and braver.

robbo100

Response to osekar,

excellent article anyway the pussy girls ill be out in two month.

If that happens do you think it will have nothing to do with the amount of international attention and condemnation these women's treatment has received?

Some people seem to think we have to choose between condemning things which happen here and condemning the treatment of Pussy Riot. I don't see that at all.

[Mar 24, 2013] RE: The Madonna in Russia supports a criminal gang of Pussi Riot...

08-09-2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2omnU9AjfM

These women from criminal group Pussy Riot tried to involve in themselves public attention three times....

The first time one of women bought in a supermarket chicken and in the face of all people including children jostled it in an intimate place...

The second time they started to have sex in a zoological museum... one of them was on the 9th month of pregnancy....

The third time they rushed into Cathedral of the Redeemer...

And now the western press, the western politicians, the western singers and stars calls them prisoners of conscience... obviously democracy absolutely ate a brain to these people...

RE: The Madonna in Russia supports a criminal gang of Pussi Riot...

They are terrible. This is real punk!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgpa7wEAz7I
Grand High Pope of the Discordian Church of the blessed Dobbs head.

RE: The Madonna in Russia supports a criminal gang of Pussi Riot...

I agree that this band is an abomination and should be banned as indecent in all public venues. They do face a rather heavy sentence however.

I also agree that the West has paid some activists to cause trouble for Putin, just as they have recently in the Middle East. I believe you will find that most Americans are appalled at this sort of meddling, but have been deceived by the elites and their control of mass media.

Your real enemy is not America but the elite Luciferian banksters who mostly operate out of the city of London inc. In fact Russia and America should be natural allies, but the feudal Lords in London are preventing this.

If this is not corrected Ghengis Khan, in the form of a Chinese warlord will rule the world.


The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number,
and mighty is the army that obeys his command.
The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?

RE: The Madonna in Russia supports a criminal gang of Pussi Riot...

LoP Guest Wrote:
fuck off you sick neo-nazi. those women merely staged a simple protest in a church, an act that would see them arrested and bailed in any Western country. Instead, in fucked up russia, they've been imprisoned for many months at the behest of fuckhead Putin, a massive political abuse of the legal system and a human rights abuse of these women. Folks can go online to support the immediate release of these brave young women. Putin is a cowardly very sexy lady for putting people in Jail for such a minor protest - what a pathetic asshole, like you.
The one that needs to unfuck themselves is you.

Perhaps if these kuhnts had done this in Auschwitz you would agree they should do hard time in jail, but when the victim is a holy Orthodox Cathedral in Moscow it is all atheism, left-wing cheerleading all the time.

These little bitches are not brave, because first of all they donned ski masks when they went to provoke and insult the memory of the martyrs under communism in the cathedral.

Second, when they were arrested, they denied being members of the group.

So yes they are cowards!

And do you know what they sang upon the high altar while they called on the Virgin Mary to become a feminist? "Holy Shit, Holy Shit!" is what they sang.

Cowards

RE: The Madonna in Russia supports a criminal gang of Pussi Riot...

This is just the 'all publicity is good publicity' stunt a lot of no-talent nobodies use these days to get themselves in the limelight, free publicity, their name in the papers. Hope they get their arses kicked.

RE: The Madonna in Russia supports a criminal gang of Pussi Riot...

Quote: fuck off you sick neo-nazi. those women merely staged a simple protest in a church, an act that would see them arrested and bailed in any Western country. Instead, in fucked up russia, they've been imprisoned for many months at the behest of fuckhead Putin, a massive political abuse of the legal system and a human rights abuse of these women. Folks can go online to support the immediate release of these brave young women. Putin is a cowardly very sexy lady for putting people in Jail for such a minor protest - what a pathetic asshole, like you.
The Madonna supports loonies... which in the face of all people and children had sex in a museum on the 9th month of pregnancy.... what at all thrust a frozen chicken into an intimate place.... IT ON YOURS the PROTEST? The Madonna supported these vile animals... a shame on it in Russia... In Russia there are ethical and moral rules of behavior of people... it needs to be known and respected, when you are on a visit.... Let it takes away the democracy and will jostle it in an intimate place....

RE: The Madonna in Russia supports a criminal gang of Pussi Riot...

Do you mean Madonna the singer?

She promotes sodomy and paganism.

RE: The Madonna in Russia supports a criminal gang of Pussi Riot...

LoP Guest Wrote:
Do you mean Madonna the singer?

She promotes sodomy and paganism.

Madonna the lip-syncer, not singer
Murray Rothbard's audio book For a New Liberty: (from Mises.org)

Kremlin Stooge discussion

October 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Ken Macaulay

On the subject of the British press, did anyone looked into this, regarding the PR case:

"Any suggestion that the BBC fabricated or staged any footage is absolutely untrue. BBC Moscow's Newsgathering team filmed a Pussy Riot rehearsal on February 17th for a wider report about Russian music and politics ahead of the presidential election. When these pictures were filmed, Pussy Riot did not tell the BBC that they were rehearsing for their later demonstration in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. A report, edited from this material and produced by BBC Russian, was later broadcast on February 22nd – the day after the demonstration. The new voiceover in the BBC Russian piece incorrectly states that the rehearsal took place the day before the demonstration and includes additional commentary which could have given the misleading impression that the BBC was aware of the demonstration. However this is categorically untrue. We are taking steps to ensure the errors are not repeated.

Just found this on John Helmer's blog, & it's the first that I'd heard of it:

PUSSY FOOT NOTE - WAS GRANDPA DREAMING OF PUSSY RIOT, OR DID PRIVATE EYE INVENT HIM?
http://johnhelmer.net/?p=7899#more-7899

Misha

Before PR's stunt in the chapel, RFE/RL and the BBC did features on them.

Interesting given their low standing of popularity at that point in time.

As I've noted before, Manhattan is well stocked with more talented (to PR) street performers, who've enough class to not disrespect a chapel, as well as perform in areas that don't hinder the ability of pedestrians to travel.

yalensis

Dear Ken: That link doesn't work.

Misha

This one does:

http://america-whereareyou.com/2012/09/pussy-foot-note-was-grandpa-dreaming-of-pussy-riot-or-did-private-eye-invent-him/

I got a message that the orginal has some techy related issue.

Interesting read.

Alexander Mercouris

October 10, 2012 at 4:51 am

Dear Ken,

I think this is momentous. The BBC attended what despite the tortured explanations from the BBC can only have been a rehearsal for the "punk prayer" four days before it took place. The BBC is therefore complicit whether knowingly or not in the committing of a criminal offence. As for Pussy Riot what this shows is that they were already preparing their publicity campaign before the crime was committed.

As to Private Eye what can one say? Its attempt to pass off a veteran BBC journalist as a "British grandfather" is pathetic whilst its failure to mention that one of the Pussy Riot defendants (Tolokonnikova) was a participant in the museum orgy is simply mendacious.

kirill

06:44 US Technology Export Case Suspect to Appeal Remand
06:01 Russian Woman Gives Birth on Flight from Ukraine
04:50 Russian Defense Minister Departs for India
03:46 US Government Sues Wells Fargo over Alleged Mortgage Fraud
02:49 Sandusky Sentenced in Latest High Profile US Sex Abuse Case
02:46 Putin to Talk Energy, Investment Cooperation with Iraqi PM
02:30 Monumental Scrub for Washington Reflecting Pool
02:02 Winds Hamper Daredevil's Death-Defying Jump From Space
01:31 Obama's Big Bird Ad Ruffles Feathers
01:10 11 Dead, Thousands More at Risk for Meningitis in US

A sampling of today's English RIAN webpage. It's becoming a US tabloid!

Misha

BECOMING!?

Moscow Exile

And today RT is back with the PR saga giving live coverage of the appeal against their conviction.

The world waits with bated breath.

Misha

Al Jazeera has portrayed the case as a simple matter of PR going into a church and saying anti-Putin comments.

yalensis

If Al Jazeera loves Pussy Riot, then let's send them to Saudi Arabia to do a striptease and sex act in front of that big rock they worship there.

marknesop

That's a great idea!! They won't even have to do much of a rewrite! They can just shout, "Allah's shit!! Allah's shit!! Better believe in Muhammad, motherfucker!" I can see the tour T-Shirt now.

Misha

Just saw another Al Jazeera (AJ) top of the hour newscast that stated these points:

- the majority Turkish public opinion remains against warring with Syria
- in Turkey, there's some pro-Syrian government support, inclusive of an Alawite element in that country
- an acknowledgement of a growing Salafi factor in the anti-Syrian government opposition, which serves to frighten away potential backers and gives credence to the Syrian government position of opposing extreme elements.

A mass media venue the size and scope of AJ can be a mixed bag of good and not so good segments.

I recall AJ's Barnaby Phillips giving a pro-Albanian/anti-Serb leaning slant which is off from reality. He made it seem like a noticeable wave of Serb crime was entering Kosovo from Serbia proper (if you may). NOTHING on what others note concerning crime in and out of Kosovo from Albania – something that seems to be a much greater issue.

Moscow Exile

Which they didn't, of course: they shrieked obscenities whilst using the name of "Our Lord" and waving their arms about and kicking their legs high into the air, accompanied by one of them playing air-guitar on an electric guitar unplugged to a power supply or amplifier. The Putin bit was added later before their video went on line.

That which was described in the Guardian as "pure protest poetry" (see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/aug/20/pussy-riot-punk-prayer-lyrics) is what appears on the PR website:

http://freepussyriot.org/content/lyrics-songs-pussy-riot

With a bit of luck they'll get another 6 months added on for making a frivolous appeal.

yalensis

Just saw in news today Pussies made it to list of 3 finalists for Sakharov prize. Their international prestige increases.

Meanwhile, in other Russian legal news, that Caucasian guy (=Murad Agalarov) from the wedding party who shot into the air in the middle of Moscow was convicted of petty hooliganism and received his sentence. His punishment consists of:

He already served 15 days in the slammer
He had to pay a fine of 2,000 rubles.
Most severely, for one full year he is forbidden to carry or use a firearm.

http://www.gazeta.ru/social/news/2012/10/10/n_2565517.shtml

Misha

Can be taken as being a mock service which disrespected the Orthodox church practice of no musical instruments allowed in a chapel.

As earlier noted, that particular building complex has a social hall and other areas.

They were looking for fame and got it.

Reply
Alexander Mercouris

October 10, 2012 at 4:37 am

In fairness to Al Jazeera they did publish Anatoly Karlin's excellent article on the Pussy Riot case.

Reply
yalensis

October 10, 2012 at 3:44 am

This is one of the worst political promos I have ever seen. (=Ad for fake elections to the fake Coordinating Committee of the Opposition). Opps make themselves look like a bunch of clowns. (Which they are.)
Sobchak, in particular, made a TERRIBLE choice of wardrobe. For a normally sexy lady, that flesh-colored blouse does NOT make her look sexy at all. What was she thinking? Oi…

http://www.rosbalt.ru/video/2012/10/09/1044143.html

yalensis

Extry extry! Samutsevich is a free woman!

Judge split her off from the other 2 Pussies and allowed her to go home. (changing her term to conditional/time served, whatever…)
Glory be to Sam's new laywer Irina Khrunova. The other 2 stuck with that other, awful laywer, and as a result will probably have to trudge out to the gulag, barefoot and in chains.

http://www.rosbalt.ru/moscow/2012/10/10/1044501.html

Misha

October 10, 2012 at 3:59 am

Beat me to the punch:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/392872/20121010/pussy-riot-appleal-sentence-moscow-russia-innocent.htm

Above link says that the court accepted her claim that she wasn't part of the chapel stunt.

Moscow Exile

If you had seen the interview with the cops that each of them had and which I posted in another thread, Samutsevich seemed the most sensible and also the only contrite one of of the three. Either that, or she is a skilled actress.

She also seemed primarily to be a feminist. Of the other two, the clear ringleader, Tolokonnikova, smirked throughout the interview and then pulled up the cop for his mispronunciation of "riot". He then asked her what "riot" meant, whereupon she sneeeringly explained to him its meaning as though she were adressing a retard.

The other member, Alekhina, also smirked throughout the interview and as she stood up to leave the interview, the cop asked her if she was sorry for offending people in the church. She just answered in a very condescending tone and with a slight shrug of the shoulders, "All right! I'm sorry" and walked out. I don't think that Samutsevich was as well in with PR as was Alekhina.

Moscow Exile

Verdict upheld for Tolokonnikova and Alekhina.

It's off to the colony they go!

The media will have a field day over this of course. They always assume that all these colonies are way out in the Far East and they always conjure up images of Siberia under a permanent blanket of snow.

The colony where St. Mikhail of the Gulag now resides, for example, is in Karelia, yet I often see reports about his languishing away in Siberia.

Nice place, Karelia.

I'm not saying a Karelian colony is 5-star, but I can think of worse places.

Alexander Mercouris

The reason Samutsevich got a suspended sentence is because her new lawyer pointed out that she did not actually participate in the "punk prayer" as she was detained before she could enter the Cathedral by the Cathedral guards.

Given that she always had this defence, which set her apart from the other two, it was of course completely wrong for the same defence team to represent her at the original trial. As lawyers they should have told her that and advised her to get separate representation. It is good to see that there are some decent Russian defence lawyers who know how to argue a case properly.

I presume that Tololokonnikova and Alyokhina will now take their case to the European Court of Human Rights. I discussed the (zero) prospects of that complaint in my second post.

yalensis

However, if Pussies get the Sakharov Prize, I wonder if the Committee will only give it to the other 2 and snub Samutsevich. Figuring that she is not made of the Right Stuff. Because she gets to sleep in a real bed now; and the other 2 on a bed of nails!

marknesop

Well, in a cardboard box in a drippy basement, actually. She is, after all, an anarchist true believer who scorns physical comforts if you have to be a wage slave to get them.

yalensis

She lives with her parents!

Moscow Exile

Her father was at the appeal court. He's bobbing on.

Linked below is a CNN interview with Sumetsevich, who says

"Мы живем в светском государстве. Представители церкви не должны в таком случае вмешиваться в политику. И своей акцией мы хотели обратить внимание на эту проблему" (We live in a secular state. Representatives of the church should in no case interfere in politics and by our actions we wanted to attract attention to this probem).

In the interview, Sumetsevich maintains that Putin is a "mega-authoritarian" and that the decision of the court rulings in Russia are of his making.

The interviewer says, of course, that it is becoming harder to protest in Russia – the usual lie from the Western media, whereas the reality is that the penalties for public order offences perpetrated during protests in Russia have been increased but are often not as severe as those in the West.

Samutsevich states that she intends to continue to protest with PR.

See: http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/international/2012/10/10/exp-pussy-riot-russia-amanpour.cnn

As an a propos, that American-English usage of "lady" for all women really bugs me. The translator, who is a Russian native speaker for sure, using US English phraseology, talks of the "young ladies", in that Sumetsevich and her colleagues are described as "young ladies" when she says: "…the act of the young ladies dancing at the altar…".

As far as one of the women members who performed in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, I should find it hard to describe a woman who fornicates or appears to be fornicating in public as a "young lady"; as regards the PR team in general, neither would I describe their repeatedly shrieking out "Our Lord's shit!" nor their dancing so as to reveal their crotches as ladylike.

Misha

An example of someone who was let off on a letter of the law matter, while continuing to disrespect "the system". – something that Western democracy ideologues are prone to patting their given country on the back for doing.

Comparative spin is often a key element in the analysis of propaganda.

Moscow Exile

But Samusevitch and the rest, together with most "Russian experts" and commentators, will maintain that it was not due process of law that resulted in her winning her appeal and having her custodial 2-year sentence reduced to a 2-year suspended one, but that the Evil One ordered that be so because of criticism from the "international community", "Amnesty International", the EU , Madonna, Sting, Red Hot Chili Peppers etc., etc. and the whole decent, normal, free and democratic world that exists beyond the frontiers of the Evil Empire.

I guess the CNN interviewer was rather disappointed to hear that Samusevitch wasn't maltreated whilst in remand prison – being "beaten to a pulp" and humiliated are the usual things that Western journalists say happen to anyone arrested and imprisoned in
Russia.

Misha

October 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

Something that within reason can be followed up on by noting how the two others remain jailed.

Granted, that mass media can have a dumbing down influence, when constantly spinning a certain line that many viewers follow with a passing interest. At the same time, there seems like a growing apprehension with mass media coverage, in a way that nurtures a more educated public.

I'm partly basing this perception on my own discussions with educated people who watch the news.

kievite

The media will have a field day over this of course.
Indeed. It is played as a major, frontpage news:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9597994/One-of-three-Pussy-Riot-women-freed.html
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article3563936.ece
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/oct/10/pussy-riot-member-freed-moscow
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/world/europe/one-member-of-pussy-riot-is-freed-by-moscow-court.html?hp
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russian-punk-rocker-freed-on-appeal-two-others-remain-in-prison/2012/10/10/adaaf390-12d7-11e2-ba83-a7a396e6b2a7_story.html?hpid=z4

kievite

I think the whole PR compain is a classic, textbook case of undermining a legitimate government and court system using resentment about church corruption simmering in Russian population. Worth studying by political sciences students from now on:

"The persecution of Pussy Riot has become a global symbol of President Putin's shameless intolerance for criticism and determined crackdown on freedom of expression and association," Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said in a statement released by her office.

This Suzanne Nossel is not getting her salary for nothing…

Moscow Exile

Clearly Nossel never listens to Radio Ekho Moskvy or browses the Russian Internet sites or reads "Moscow's biggest English language daily" or Latynina's columns and many, many other Russian news media outlets where there is a never ending, obsessive, often libellous hypercriticism of Vladimir Putin, the man the world has been programmed to hate; either that, or Putin doesn't read them or is unaware of their criticism, for according to the western media and Nossel, Putin's intolerance of criticism would surely have led to their closure and the imprisonment and even death of those who dared criticise him.

And still nary a word in the western press about Udaltsov's alleged treasonous activities.

Alexander Mercouris

Here is a detailed account of the appeal from RAPSI setting out all the lawyers' arguments.

http://www.rapsinews.com/judicial_news/20121009/264910729.html

Notice the much more professional approach of Samutsevich's new lawyer who confined herself to legal arguments rather than political statements, a fact commented on by one of the prosecution lawyers.

It is quite clear by the way that the starting point to this lawyer's argument is that a crime was committed. Her point was that someone who was unable to complete a crime should not be treated with the same harshness as someone who completed the crime. In other words the lawyer was not seeking to overturn the conviction but was only seeking to reduce the sentence in which she was successful. By contrast Tolokonnikova's and Alyokhina's lawyer continued to argue against the conviction in which predictably they were completely unsuccessful.

Moscow Exile

From today's UK Telegraph:

"No one should be fooled – justice has not been done today. The government has introduced numerous new restrictions to freedom of expression in recent months. As this decision demonstrates, Russia's judiciary is unlikely to offer much protection to those who fall foul of them", said David Diaz-Jogeix, the groups's Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director said in an emailed statement.

I should dearly like Diaz-Jogeix to elucidate on the "numerous new restrictions to freedom of expression" that have taken place in Russia "in recent months". It would also be interesting to know what he thinks of the arrest of Pussy Riot copycats in Cologne cathedral a couple of months ago and about the German criminal law under which they have been charged and the maximum penalty that breach of that law entails.

See: http://rt.com/news/pussy-riot-cologne-cathedral-463/

yalensis

Dear Alexander: That is a very interesting legal point, that somebody who intended to commit a crime but didn't succeed should be punished less severely than somebody who succeeded in committing the crime. That seems logical to me. But I have also heard of cases where if people committed the crime in a group, then they were all treated the same. For example, if a bank robbery led to a murder, then the getaway driver who stayed in the car is punished the same as the robber inside the bank who actually pulled the trigger. That doesn't seem fair to me.
In the case of Pussy Riot, it DOES seem fair to me that Samutsevich would get a lighter sentence. Of course, I never really thought any of them should go to jail, just be fined for minor hooliganism. But be that as it may… the judge did make a distinction.
And the other difference is that Samutsevich has parents who actually cared enough about her to hire a decent lawyer!

marknesop

It's awfully hard to prove intent. It's like docking somebody 2 points in a spelling bee because you knew they were going to spell the word wrong before they started spelling it. Unless you have crazy planning notes on their computer or something. But it's amazing how often criminals do that.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Yalensis,

"…where people committed the crime in a group they were all treated the same".

What you are referring to is the concept of joint enterprise. It absolutely applies to this case. It is important to understand that Samutsevitch's conviction for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred still stands. As I think I explained once before every crime consists of two parts: intention ("mens rea") and action ("actus reus"). Samutsevitch's conviction was reduced because she did not complete the actus reus. However she cannot be acquitted of the crime because the other two defendants in the joint enterprise did complete it.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Mark,

….and yet Courts do regularly decide questions of intention. They have to do so in criminal cases since as I have just said a criminal intention ("mens rea") is an essential part of a crime. For example if one kills someone accidentally it is not murder. There has to be an intention to kill or in Britain injure someone who does not necessarily have to be the person killed. (eg. if I carry out an armed bank robbery in which I shoot at a policeman intending to kill him but miss and kill the cashier by mistake I have committed murder even if I meant to kill the policeman and not the cashier). .

Courts have sophisticated rules of evidence to help them decide what is proved and what is not. In the US and Britain (and I presume in Canada also) it is for the jury in a serious criminal case to decide what facts have been proved and what have not. Intention is treated as question of fact so it is for the jury to decide the defendant's intention. Once the jury has made a decision it is extremely difficult to set it aside on appeal.

marknesop

Oh, yes; I agree. But you must "show" intent. For instance, I imagine an argument like, "Your Honour, the defendant should get the maximum sentence since he clearly showed intent – because I say so" would not fly. You might be able to say, "his behavior clearly showed intent" or "notes found at the defendants home and in the defendant's handwriting which the defendant admits to having written describe the plan although the defendant was not able to execute it" and get a conviction, however.

Perhaps Samutsevich's presence in the church, her membership in the group that carried out the crime and the fact that she had to be restrained by clerical staff will be sufficient proof of intent; I couldn't say, as I don't know much about Russian law.

Moscow Exile

Dear Alexander Mercouris,

Do you recall the infamous case in the 1950s that resulted in the hanging in England of a petty thief whose partner killed a policeman during a London burglary? The one who pulled the trigger couldn't be hanged because he was under 18; the one they hanged was over 18 but had the mental age of an 11-year-old. The younger one took him along to break into a London dairy because he was a big boy and known as a hard hitter.The policeman said to the gunman (gunboy really – I think he was 16) "Don't be silly, son. Give me the gun." The one that was hanged said "Let him have it!" The killer shot the policeman dead. The judge decided that the older boy in saying "Let him have it" was instructing the younger and considerably more intelligent criminal to shoot. The killer was sent to a young offenders' prison and, later, to an adult prison, from where he was released in due course of time; the older boy was legally hanged by the neck until dead.

Many thought that this hanging was simply a desire of the state to exercise revenge for the murder of one of its law offficers, no matter whether the executed person had actually committed the crime.

yalensis

Thanks for clarification, Alexander. I believe I am starting to understand now that Samutsevich's lawyer very cleverly did not attack the basis of her client's conviction (the "mens rea"), but sought a lesser sentence based on the lack of "actus reus".
Also, to the earlier point about being mothers with small children being a mitigation in Russian law: this is not surprising, it is probably a holdover from Soviet law and social norms, which held a somewhat chivalrous attitude towards women in general, and mothers in particular. I know that in some societies breast-feeding babies at least are allowed to stay in the jail with their moms..

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Kievite,

I basically agree. This was clearly intended as an act of provocation directed at the government and the legal system. The one thing I would say is that though as an act of provocation it has been fairly successful in the west, it has been far less successful within Russia itself.

There was a rush of sympathy for the Pussy Riot defendants in the lead up to the trial when the defence lawyers made hay on the possibility that they might be given a 7 year sentence, though that was never remotely likely. My impression is that much of this sympathy dissipated during the trial because of the arrogant behaviour of the defendants and of their lawyers and when it became clear that they were not going to get a 7 year sentence. So far as I can judge most people accept both the verdict and the sentence of the Court and consider the conduct of the trial fair (which it was). Opinion polls I have seen put support for Pussy Riot at no more than 1-6% and the poor turnout at the latest March of Millions and the lack of reference to Pussy Riot during the march suggests that whatever sympathy there may have been for Pussy Riot initially has now largely melted away

If I am right in saying this (which I think I am) then I would see it as further proof of something I have always believed which is that the best defence for a society against provocations of this kind is impartial enforcement of the law and adherence to due process..

Moscow Exile

Dear Alexander Mercouris,

I have just remembered the name of the man hanged as a result of the English law principle of common purpose: his name was Derek Bentley. He was 19 years old.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Bentley_case

The actual killer in the Bentley case, Christopher Craig, was released from prison after serving 10 years.

Bentley eventually received a pardon of sorts:

"However, on 30 July 1998, the Court of Appeal overturned the controversial conviction of Derek Bentley who was hanged for the murder of a policeman over 45 years ago. In an unprecedented and very damning attack, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, ruled that his predecessor and Bentley's trial judge, Lord Chief Justice Goddard, had denied Bentley "that fair trial that is the birthright of every British citizen." In a 52-page judgment, Lord Bingham placed the blame for the miscarriage of justice with Lord Goddard. Describing Lord Goddard as "blatantly prejudiced", Lord Bingham concluded that he had misdirected the jury and that in his summing-up had put unfair pressure on the jury to convict".

See: See: http://www.murderpedia.org/male.C/c/craig-christopher.htm

marknesop

I remember when Bernhard Goetz was charged in New York for the shooting of four black youths on the subway. They apparently attempted to rob him using a screwdriver as a "persuader", and he had also apparently been robbed a short time before that in a similar fashion. He was dubbed the "Subway Vigilante", and came to symbolize the city's having exhausted its patience with the system's inability to cope with violent crime. He was charged with attempted murder and a bunch of other things, but public outcry against it was so great that the system dared not convict. He was convicted eventually of illegal use of a firearm and did less than a year for it.

Lawyers frequently try to mobilize and channel public outrage in favour of their client; in the Goetz case, I think it was more or less spontaneous, but since then and maybe even before, media deliberately tries to shape the narrative so as to bring about the outcome it desires. It is unsuccessful more often than not, but it is still deemed a worthwhile effort to mobilize public outrage and this is the purpose of the revisionism of what actually happened in the Pussy Riot performance.

cartman

Suzanne Nossel from the Obama State Department. I could never see a conflict of interest there…

Misha

All things considered, this story isn't quite sticking in the way that some seem to desire.

Charlie Rose didn't make this issue an extremely noteworthy one during his recent one on one with Lavrov. Ed Koch doesn't back PR. On the more left of the political spectrum, Diana Johnstone and Mike Whitney haven't either.

Upon being given both sides of the story, American conservatives who aren't so corrupted by anti-Russian propaganda, as well as some of those who are, don't buy into the politically oppressed PR line.

Alexander Mercouris

I notice that Violetta Volkova, one of the three lawyers who has been defending Pussy Riot, is now also defending Udaltsov in the treason case. Poor man! He's doomed!

yalensis

Oh yes, Volkova has to be one of the most incompetent lawyers in the history of the planet.

Moscow Exile

This is Violetta Volkova – I kid ye not!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yuri_timofeyev/7901811972/

On her XXXXXX-T-shirt she has printed "Mother of God drive out Putin", which, as you no doubt know, is a line from the so-called punk prayer sung by her infamous clients Tolokonnikova and Aekhina and former client Samutsevich.

She'd look absolutely delightful bewigged and gowned in a British crown court, don't you think?

Moscow Exile

Sorry! Samutsevich didn't sing those words: she was refused entrance to the gig.

marknesop

It looks as if the quickest way to break up her courtroom rhythm would be to roll a sugar donut down the centre aisle.

marknesop

My God. I could feel myself getting stupider as I read that Telegraph article, the first link. Team Pussy tried to get the verdict overturned because Putin "prejudiced the case" (by which I presume they mean the appeal) by commenting on the sentence after it was passed, when Pussy Riot had requested to call Putin as a witness during one of their sillier stunts, and after the lawyers who would prepare the appeal said in public that it was hopeless because they would lose. Then the first to try it won.

Misha

The other example is PR having claimed not to be anti-ROC, only to then see their legal counsel suggestively challenge (in the earlier court proceeding) the judge's objectivity by asking if she's ROC?

kirill

Putin prejudiced the case in their favor by suggesting leniency before the verdict. But in the Orwellian world of the liberasts and anarchist posers it was him prejudicing the case against them. This tripe truly is for the totally clueless or mentally deficient.

Misha

Putin and the ROC at large.

Alexander Mercouris

Putin was acting fully within his rights in commenting on the conviction and the sentence after the trial judge delivered her judgment. Once the trial judge delivered her verdict the case ceased to be sub judice. As the prosecutor absolutely rightly said during the appeal hearing, it is ridiculous to say that the one person in Russia who should not be allowed to comment on the case is the person who is the country's highest official. It is quite entertaining to see how the champions of free speech in what they persist in saying is a case about free speech complain about the exercise of free speech when it is exercised by Putin.

Alexander Mercouris

Here is an article about today's appeal by Natalia Antonova in the Guardian. I don't agree with every part of it but overall I found it measured and balanced.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/10/pussy-riot-yekaterina-samutsevich

What I found actually more interesting than the article itself is the response to it of some of the people on the discussion thread. Notice in particular the angry and intolerant reaction from some of the respondents when Natalia Antonova says on the discussion thread that she does not see this as a case about free speech (she's right), that as an Orthodox Christian she too was offended by the "punk prayer" and when she points out that the defendants themselves during the trial admitted that an offence had been committed.

marknesop

October 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm

The article mentions shock that the other two Pussies remain in jail when they "have small children at home". Quite apart from that being a ridiculous attitude – that incarceration should automatically be off the table for criminals who have small children at home (a powerful motivator for boosting the natural birth rate, if ever there was one) – where is "at home"? I thought these girls were anarchists who scorn labour for wages and squat in abandoned basements. What kind of anarchists have a cozy and stable home environment in a nice little flat with plenty of love and values education for the kiddies? Call that anarchy? Give me strength.

The greatest part of the silliness in this case arises from media sources portraying the Pussies as just normal, personable citizens who happened to have a desire to protest against the leader of the country and chose the wrong place to do it. As opposed to social misfits determined to visibly and violently reject every common social value as worthless and degrading, to glorify shiftlessness and if-it-feels-good-do-it irresponsibility and to be generally the least fit role model for a developing child.

Alexander Mercouris

I don't comment on Mark Adomanis's blog (not enough time and I think one has to sign in which I can't be bothered to do) but someone really should take him to task for the totally convoluted logic he is bringing to his analysis of the Pussy Riot case. Here is his latest demarche on it

http://blogs.forbes.com/markadomanis/

Having convinced himself that this is a political case (it isn't) and that it is about free speech (it wasn't) and having persuaded himself that no crime was committed (a crime was committed) he is reduced to overcomplicated explanations about how Samutsevich's release represents some sort of "signal" by the authorities to "society".

This sort of thinking completely baffles me. Aside from the fact that this is based purely on an assumption of political interference in the case for which there is absolutely no evidence what is Samutsevich's release on probation supposed to be a signal of? Who precisely is supposed to read this signal? How is anyone supposed to act on this signal? Why not simply accept that Samutsevich was released because Samutsevich's lawyer made a valid legal argument such as any lawyer would understand which requires Samutsevich's release?

marknesop

Mark Adomanis is a great admirer of free speech, and reckons everyone should be allowed to say whatever comes into their minds without any fear of penalty, and consequently fights the most stubborn trench warfare actions against any attempt to regulate free speech. In theory, I should be able to follow Jewish mourners in a parade to a holocaust memorial shouting "Jew bastards deserved it", and while people might not admire me for it, the reason that should prevail is sticks-and-stones-may-break-my-bones-but-words-will-never-hurt-me. For the Jews, that is; they should just suck it up, because it's a free country. They could call the police and complain that my behaviour was deeply offensive and request I be detained so they could mourn in peace, but according to Mark Adomanis the cop should tell them I have the right to express my opinion no matter how offensive it might be, and they should just get used to it because they do not have the right to infringe upon my freedom just because it offends their right to peaceful reflection.

That's an extreme example, of course, because Jewish rights are a hot-button issue in a country where political candidates are weighed and measured based on their positions on Israel, but let's try another. Freedom of speech says I ought to be able to follow and harangue the mother at her child's funeral, reminding her over and over that she did not deserve to have a child and it was her stupidity which killed it. Another display of intolerable behaviour, but she must tolerate it nonetheless because of my sacred right to have my say.

His postings are often amusing – intentionally – and frequently very perceptive and interesting, but on anything to do with free speech he has tunnel vision that will allow him to see no way but his way, and he will strenuously resist any effort to change his opinion, which is that being able to mouth off about anything you like no matter its effect on other people is practically what made America great. I'm not in the mood for that argument again, since we've already had it and it appears to have had no effect whatsoever on him beyond his grudging admission that within a very, very narrow subset of circumstances, such as yelling "Fire" in a crowded theatre, it might be permissible to restrict free speech. But it should be perfectly OK for me, if I see police chasing a thief, to point out someone at random and shout, "there's the thief!! I saw him grab the purse" even though I saw no such thing, just because I get a kick out of watching them drag some random stranger to the ground and arrest him. Gratuitous malice is a part of the larger free-speech jubilee.

Moscow Exile

This "they shouldn't be imprisoned because they are mothers" wail off Guardianistas and others is hypocritical bullshit!

Only 3 weeks ago it was revealed in the Telegraph that in the UK over 17,000 mothers are separated from their children because of imprisonment.

I presume that the Guardianistas would demand that all these imprisoned UK mothers should be immediatelty released on probation.

The reason why the Guardianistas in particular wail about the imprisonment of two PR members is because they like to identify themselves with them as being right-on, fearless fighters for freedom, justice and all that is lovely in their cosy little bourgeois world.

peter

Why not simply accept that Samutsevich was released because Samutsevich's lawyer made a valid legal argument… ?

Because that's a redundant assumption. Occam's razor, you know. There is neither need nor reason to think that anything the lawyers did or didn't do in this case had much bearing on the outcome.

marknesop

I'm afraid I'm having a hard time accepting that the performance of lawyers has little effect on legal decisions in Russia. Unless you are advancing the view that Putin personally approves all prosecutions and acquittals. I'm certainly not fond of lawyers, but it's hard to imagine they have no role to play beyond the coincidental in the law.

yalensis

Adomanis is an idiot. His parents left him in the woods as a babe, and he was raised by a pack of Kremlinologists. That's why his political "analysis" consists of trying to read tea leaves. Tarot cards are more scientific, by the way.

Misha

"Adomanis is an idiot. His parents left him in the woods as a babe, and he was raised by a pack of Kremlinologists. That's why his political "analysis" consists of trying to read tea leaves. Tarot cards are more scientific, by the way."

****

Has a coddled brat hack man child like quality, that has been given carte blanche to selectively describe others as being kooks.

In contrast, someone in a media based establihment position of influence is likely to scream foul if Ioffe or Adomanis get called such.

Establishment influenced mass media review bits hold back on what can be otherwise legitimately said.

peter

… a coddled brat hack man child like quality…

Looks like you're still smarting over the scolding Cali Ruchala gave you back in 2005 when you got booted from intelligent.ru:

"Personally, I think you're upset at being shut out of a policy wonk club. Should we call it Wonk Envy? Whatever it is, it makes you look like a complete fool - a whining, simpering little brat upset that people won't publish his articles…"

Ouch.

Misha

Leave to an anonymous cyber weirdo blog commenter of a coward to recall a trivial exchange from some off the wall person making an off the wall comment – as part of an obsessively peculiar hounding campaign.

The difference between Cali and scumbag ("Peter") with yours truly, is that I've made considerably more substantive inroads, minus the kind of sucking up that some others engage in.

I'll make the effort to drop this, seeing that it involves a stupidly dull troll, who might erroneously think that his getting the last word in amounts to some kind of "victory".

He has yet to substantively refute any of my core comments on a wide range of subjects. As cover, he resorts to off topic banter, along the lines of the other troll, who Leos had earlier mentioned at this thread..

Moscow Exile

"There is neither need nor reason to think that anything the lawyers did or didn't do in this case had much bearing on the outcome."

The argument that in a Russian court of law the prosecution or defence counsel have an effect on a court decision is only redundant if one presumes that all court decisions are pre-determined by some external authority.

That Russian court decisions are pre-determined is a simplistic argument, but it is not "Occam's Razor", namely the principle stating that among competing hypotheses, the one which makes the fewest assumptions should be selected.

The simplest theory, however, may not be the most accurate. Occam's Razor states that simpler theories should be adopted until they can be traded for more complex ones. For example, few now would accept the simple theory of the creation of all as presented in
the Book of Genesis, though for a great period of time many did: more complex theories have been presented and accepted as possible explanations of the creation of all that which we experience.

There are, of course, many who still believe that a sentient, omniscient, omnipotent entity created everything and who refuse to believe any other theory concerning the creation of the cosmos.

Likewise, there are some who believe that there is a seemingly omniscient and omnipotent force of evil in Russia that directs everything, including judges' decisions in Russian courts.

Alexander Mercouris

October 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Dear Peter,

As I have always understood it Occam's Razor is the principle that amongst competing hypotheses the one that makes the fewest assumptions is the one that should be selected.

If that is right then it seems to me that Adomanis's theory fails the test. Firstly the claim that this was a political trial is only an assumption and one entirely unsupported by evidence. If one reads Adomanis's post the difficulty he has reconciling the fact of Samutsevich's successful appeal of her sentence with his assumption is obvious. Consider for example this comment

"This (the argument made by Samutsevich's new lawyer – AM) is, to put it mildly, somewhat discordant with the defence's original contention that the band's "punk prayer"was neither offensive nor criminal…."

This is of course true. As Adomanis however admits this contradicts what he has been saying all along, which is that "….Pussy Riot's prayer was purely legally protected free speech" and that Pussy Riot's prosecution, trial and conviction must therefore have been political.

Having however made his confusion clear rather than revisit (and reject) his starting assumption as irreconcilable with the new fact Adomanis tries to reconcile the new fact with the original assumption by creating an entirely new assumption that Samutsevich's successful appeal is somehow a mysterious "signal" by the authorities apparently to the Russian Orthodox Church. This assumption is of course no more supported by evidence than the original one. I for one cannot see the reason for such an elaborate and ambiguous "signal" when a simple telephone call would do.

In other words Adomanis's whole theory now requires two assumptions, one resting rather uncertainly on the other. Rather than adopt this whole cumbersome structure surely it makes far better sense to simply follow the facts and accept that both the trial and the appeal were conducted exactly in the way that they appear to have been and that Samutsevich won her appeal against her sentence because her lawyer presented a convincing argument to the appeal Court?

I say this because one of my other objections to Adomanis's argument and yours is that it appears to reward bad lawyers at the expense of good ones. If one follows the logic of what you and Adomanis say then it would have made no difference to the outcome of the case if Samutsevich had been represented by a chimpanzee. This seems to me very unfair to Irina Khrunova, Samutsevich's new lawyer, who everybody agrees did a very good job taking over the case at very short notice and coming up in a very short time with a good and convincing argument that won over the appeal Court.

yalensis

Occam's razor?? Jesus Christ on Rollerskates…! You try my patience…
How about Sigmund Freud instead: "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

peter

Mark: Unless you are advancing the view that Putin personally approves all…

Wrong quantifier.

Moscow Exile: … is only redundant if one presumes that all…

Ditto.

Alexander: … the one that makes the fewest assumptions…

There are assumptions and assumptions - your assumption that the Russian judiciary is free of outside interference in high profile cases easily counts for ten.

marknesop

"…your assumption that the Russian judiciary is free of outside interference in high profile cases"

Wrong quantifier.

Moscow Exile

In the syllogism:
1. All men are mortal.
2. Socrates is a man.
3. Socrates is mortal.
The conclusion (3) is only valid if the major premise (1) is true.
As far as I and millions of others are aware through experience, the major premise in the above syllogism is true; although there may have already been born or one day may be born a man who is immortal, I should imagine such an event to be highly improbable.

In this syllogism:
1. The Russian judiciary is not free of outside interference.
2. The PR verdict was delivered by the Russian judiciary.
3. The PR verdict was not free of outside interference.
The conclusion is only valid if the major premise "the Russian judiciary is not free of outside interference" is true.

I should imagine that Peter believes that the major premise "the Russian judiciary is not free of outside interference" is true – always. If that is the case, then the burden of evidence lies on Peter to prove that "the Russian judiciary is not free of outside interference" is always true.

I, on the other hand, believe it true that the Russian judiciary may sometimes not be free from outside interference (I also believe this to be the case to a greater or lesser degree for all judiciaries worldwide). I therefore do not exclude the possibility that the prosecution or defence counsel can influence a judicial decision made in a Russian court of law.

If, however, Peter believes that "the Russian judiciary is not free of outside interference" is very often or sometimes true, then the conclusion "the PR verdict was not free of outside interference" is not valid.

peter

3. The PR verdict was not free of outside interference.

That's a straw man, the conclusion should read: 3. The PR verdict may not have been free of outside interference.

Like I said, you should be more careful with quantifiers.

peter

Mark: Wrong quantifier.

Which one?

marknesop

October 12, 2012 at 5:49 am

Well, I guess I cannot hold you to it because it is not spelt out, but the phrase "in high-profile cases" seems to leave little doubt you mean "all" high-profile cases. An assumption, as it happens, that I did not make. I don't believe Putin himself personally dictates the verdict in any cases, high-profile or otherwise, although I am happy to stipulate there is political interference in some legal actions, some of which might or might not be considered "high-profile" although no standard for that was established. The Pussy Riot case, while definitely high-profile from a media standpoint, is otherwise not very significant in terms of case law, for example.

And political interference to one degree or other is hardly uncommon everywhere; major political figures might influence the outcome of legal cases by merely altering their facial expression when asked a question about an ongoing legal matter by a reporter, without saying anything. I'm not talking about that, so I'll be specific. I'm talking about a set of circumstances in which Putin says directly to the presiding judge, whether in public or in private between the two, "I want him/her/them to be found guilty" or words to a similarly unambiguous effect. And I say that doesn't happen.

Moscow Exile

Peter commentented:

" 3. The PR verdict was not free of outside interference.

That's a straw man, the conclusion should read: 3. The PR verdict may not have been free of outside interference.

Like I said, you should be more careful with quantifiers."

Afraid not, old boy! The syllogism that I previously wrote and whose conclusion you criticize as being invalid was thus:

1. The Russian judiciary is not free of outside interference.
2. The PR verdict was delivered by the Russian judiciary.
3. The PR verdict was not free of outside interference.

The major premise is universal: no modal auxiliary verbs such as "may", "might", "could" etc; no quantifiers such as ""some", many" etc.

It's the same with:

1.All men are mortal.
2.Socrates is a man.
3.Socrates is mortal.

The conclusion is not: "Socrates may be mortal".

The premise "the Russian judiciary is not free of outside interference" means it is always not free of outside interference just as "all men are mortal" means "always mortal".

The English present tense with no aspect (often called the "present simple" for simplicity's sake, but really it is "simple" in the sense that it is not compound in form, i.e. without an auxiliary verb) is used for truth statements, e.g. "If you heat pure distilled water at atmospheric pressure to 100 degrees celsius, it boils"; or "If you lead a good life on earth, then when you die, you go to heaven and see God and exist eternally in His presence".

Many believe that latter statement is true, hence the present tense in English – all time, any time, always.

Therefore, if that major premise (1) above, namely "The Russian judiciary is not free of outside interference", is always true (present tense of "to be" in the premise), then the conclusion in the above syllogism "the PR verdict was not free of outside interference" cannot be false.

No may might or could have been.

peter

The premise "the Russian judiciary is not free of outside interference" means it is always not free of outside interference…

No, certainly not. In my book, the sentence "the Russian judiciary is not free of outside interference" means that the number of cases of outside interference is not zero.

marknesop

No, I understood what you meant. But my original statement in its entirety was "Unless you are advancing the view that Putin personally approves all prosecutions and acquittals." To which you replied, "Wrong quantifier". So if the quantifier "all" is unsuitable, is it then your contention that Putin personally approves "some" prosecutions and acquittals? Just to be clear, I'm not talking about "influencing" convictions or acquittals with a sardonic smile or dramatic eye-rolling when asked about the case by a reporter, or even obliquely referring to the eventual legal decision by expounding on the need for law and order, thereby implying leniency would be looked upon with disfavour. Those are examples in which interpretation plays a part, and are common everywhere. I am talking about Mr. Putin giving the judge his or her orders – convict this person, find that person not guilty. Is it your position that Mr. Putin does this in some cases? Because I am afraid my next question will be how you know this to be true.

peter

Is it your position that Mr. Putin does this in some cases?

Well, for all we know Mr. Putin himself may already be too senile to do much beyond enjoying the Patriarch's cottage cheese and chatting with Masha Gessen about birdies - but if you replace "Mr. Putin" with "collective Putin", then yes, I think they do interfere directly in some cases.

Because I am afraid my next question will be how you know this to be true.

I don't. If I did, there would be no need for Occam's help.

marknesop

October 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I appreciate your honesty. I have seen no signs whatever of senility in Mr. Putin, but I'm not a doctor, and I might have missed something. I certainly hope he's not senile, because 60 is still pretty young in the modern world. Like I said, he stays in shape and seems to eat and drink sensibly; I'd have to say he was quite disciplined. According to the WHO, the world's population aged over 60 will double between 2000 and 2050 and, far from being alarming, this is thought to be a tribute to our increased ability to deal with the causes of earlier mortality.

I'm afraid I don't see any case for Russian political figures giving judges their marching orders, and if that is the case then there is likewise no reason to believe Russian lawyers are just window dressing, although I will grant you the acquittal rate is extremely low. Russia is quite high on the list of countries ranked by rate of incarceration as well – although the USA is the world leader by a wide margin – which suggests there likely are quite a few people in prison in Russia who don't deserve to be there. But it seems to me that although Russian lawyers generally don't go in for lurid courtroom theatrics like O.J's Dream Team, that doesn't necessarily equate to their being useless to due process or stooges for Kremlin fiddling. Certainly trials can be influenced by deliberate leaks, misinformation and political grandstanding, but I have yet to see any direct relationship between such incidents and Putin himself or any of his inner circle. But the liberal opposition would vehemently disagree with me, so you're not alone.

Alexander Mercouris

For anyone interested here is Miriam Elder's article summarising her interview with Samutsevich.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/oct/12/pussy-riot-resume-protests-against-vladimir-putin

What I find strange about this article is that it does not discuss the lawyers at all. Miriam Elder does not report Samutsevich saying anything about her original lawyers, whether to endorse or condemn them and nor is there any explanation of why Samutsevich suddenly decided to change her defence team. It does seem rather strange that Miriam Elder didn't ask Samutsevich to comment about all this given how much speculation there's been about it. Could it be that she did but didn't like the answer Samutsevich gave her? Perhaps if and when we get the text of the complete interview we'll know more.

marknesop

I think it's more likely because Samutsevich's discharge is going to be spun as a liberal success story; a triumph against the Kremlin's rapidly-eroding power, and the part played by lawyers – just as such a part is played by lawyers in every country that has the rule of law – is a jarring note in that narrative. Russia doesn't have the rule of law, of course, so it will be necessary for the part played by changing counsel to fade into the background. Otherwise it might look as if the Pussy Riot Affair was not really a huge social issue, and that anyone in similar circumstances (charged with a crime) would stand or fall based on the performance of his or her attorneys.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Peter,

Actually I don't think I am making any assumption at all. It seems to me that it is for those who assert that there was political interference in the Pussy Riot case to prove it. I have seen no evidence to support that claim. The case makes perfect sense without assuming political interference so why assume it?

On a separate point, the RAPSI summary of the appeal which I provided earlier suggests that the defence lawyers said nothing about the two points that have been discussed (1) the point first mentioned to me by Eugene Ivanov, which is that Article 213 does not mention the crime of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and that there is no such crime under Russian law and (2) the point you made about the Judge's reasoning in deciding the question of intention. I wasn't persuaded by either argument but both seemed to me perfectly valid arguments to make on appeal and I am disappointed they weren't made. Instead the defence lawyers seem to have argued the appeal largely on the supposed inadequacies of the expert evidence. If the case does go to the European Court of Human Rights and these points are made there the European Court of Human Rights will want to know why they weren't made in the appeal and it will take a lot of persuading to persuade the European Court of Human Rights to hear them.

peter

… the point first mentioned to me by Eugene Ivanov, which is that Article 213 does not mention the crime of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and that there is no such crime under Russian law…

Oops, looks like you still totally misunderstand the nuts and bolts of this case. Let's try again, slowly.

1. The article in question is indeed Article 213, Hooliganism.

2. This article consists of two disjunct (as opposed to conjunct) parts: п. а) concerns armed hooliganism, п. б) concerns hooliganism motivated by hatred/enmity.

3. 213-а clearly doesn't apply here.

4. The girls have been charged and convicted under 213-б.

5. Despite its near triviality (see above), the legal side of this case is surrounded by widespread confusion caused by the relative newness of Article 213 in its present form. Many people still come across the old pre-2007 version on the internet and get totally misled.

6. Specifically, the previous (pre-2007) version of Article 213 did not contain п. б), the rest is identical in both versions. Thus, the present Article 213-а is equivalent to the old 213, whereas 213-б did not exist in any shape or form before 2007.

7. You are perhaps the biggest victim of this confusion - that behemoth of a post of yours is based entirely on the wrong version of Article 213, and therefore every word of it is wrong including "and" and "the". Sorry, somebody had to tell you.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Peter,

I am aware of the fact that when I wrote my post I was working from an earlier version of Article 213, As I do not speak Russian I had to rely on translations of the Russian Criminal Code provided by the comparative law agencies. These did not provide translations of the current version of Article 213. I have just checked and am surprised to see that notwithstanding the attention the Pussy Riot case has received they have still not been updated to provide a translation of the current version of Article 213. However Anatoly Karlin has provided a translation of the current version of Article 213, the text of which you kindly clarified over the course of the discussion in the discussion thread. Of course the effect of the amendment to Article 213 (as I am sure you must realise) was to make the case against Pussy Riot significantly stronger than I thought it was when I wrote the post.

However over the course of the same discussion in the discussion thread Eugene Ivanov said that Russian defence lawyers have said that there is no specific offence of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred in the Russian Criminal Code. I presume that Eugene Ivanov is reporting what the defence lawyers say correctly and I must assume that Russian defence lawyers are familiar with the wording of their own Criminal Code and the jurisprudence arising from it. I therefore have to assume that there are more ambiguities to the wording and interpretation of Article 213 than I know of and than you tell me. I was expecting the issue to be finally settled on appeal and I am disappointed to see that it wasn't. Likewise the argument about intention that you made previously also does not seem to have been discussed in the appeal, which I also find disappointing even thought I don't agree with it.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Peter,

I have just checked Eugene Ivanov's comment and the point the Russian defence lawyers made was narrower than I remembered, Specifically it was that Article 213 does not refer to "insulting the feelings of religious believers" so according to them the offence that was committed was not covered by the Article, There is nothing in the RAPSI summary to suggest that this point was argued by the defence lawyers in the appeal. Nor as I have said does the RAPSI summary say that the defence lawyers argued your point on intention. I notice by the way that you persist in referring to "triviality", by which I presume you mean the supposed triviality of the offence. The RAPSI summary suggests the defence lawyers didn't argue that point either.

marknesop

I'm pretty sure that's what judges are for; to interpret what took place by reading of the evidence submitted and by listening to the lawyers for both sides present their case for clemency or punishment. I suppose you could spell out the law in such excruciating detail that judges would not be necessary; that the facts on their presentation would guarantee your guilt, but at present if the law says, "if a person shall stab another with a knife or any other object which has a blade, causing death, the one who did such an act shall be guilty of murder" you are unlikely to walk if you stab someone to death with a barbecue fork just because it doesn't have a blade. The judge would interpret the act as within the spirit of the law if not the letter. The evidence in the Pussy Riot case – which I can't believe we are still talking about – suggested the church was chosen deliberately as a venue and that the "performers" did not leave immediately when it was made clear to them that their behavior and presence were unwelcome. There were even repeated attempts to make the case about religion throughout the trial. A decision that there was motivation and that it was based on a desire to debase the reverence held by worshipers for the Russian Orthodox Church lies well within the judge's purview.

marknesop

Not to mention his opinion on the verdict was specifically solicited by media. What was he supposed to say, after justice was done – "no comment"? The contention by the PR lawyers that the appeal was born to lose even before they applied did infinitely more damage, yet did not even rate being brought up.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Mark,

Russian law does in fact require the Court when sentencing a defendant to take into consideration whether the defendant has dependent children and to treat this as a factor in mitigating a sentence. This is a curiosity of Russian law which appears very strange to a western lawyer. As I have already said in some ways Russian law is more lenient than western law and than it is often believed to be.

The point to say is that the judge at the trial specifically considered that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina have children when she decided their sentence and that was in her Judgment so the judge fulfilled the requirements of the law, which is why this part of the appeal (which only concerns the sentence) failed.

I do not know whether this is true but a respondent on my blog has said that Tolokonnikova's child suffered a serious injury because of her carelessness. I suspect that in Britain both Tolokonnikova's and Alyokhina's children would be taken into local authority care.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Mark,

It's not Adomanis's tunnel vision on this issue that bothers me but his blithe assumption that what he thinks on this subject is or should be the law. If I broke into his house because I disagreed with his stance on some issue and abused and humiliated him in front of his family reading out an obscene parody of one of his articles using scatological language I have no doubt he would call the police to have me removed. If I then claimed that I had merely been exercising my right of free speech when I was subsequently put on trial for burglary and criminal trespass I doubt he would show me much sympathy when the judge and jury rightly gave this argument short shrift.

marknesop

Ahhh, but his home is private property, where you may not enter without permission and it is a criminal act to do so. But if you wanted to do it in his favourite restaurant, I am sure he would celebrate your right to do it. Public property makes all the difference, because when you are in public you should be able to exercise your right to say whatever you want as loudly as you want.

I have argued that even most public spaces have a designed purpose, and that people in a library have a right to search undisturbed for a book of their choice without Richard Simmons coming in accompanied by a crowd of his devotees and taping a live performance of "Sweatin' To The Oldies" even though a library is not private property, or for some I'll-have-my-rights jerk to flash up his barbecue at center ice in a skating rink and start cooking hot dogs. There are all sorts of arguments why the use of public spaces is regulated by courtesy and mutual respect, but he reckons those principles ought to be challenged regularly in order for the people to know true freedom. And if you support your arguments with examples, he will resort to sarcasm, like, "I am helpless in the presence of your brilliance", and make like you are some kind of big baby for arguing so hard about something that ultimately means nothing because you are not going to change his mind, which is far too restless and agile for you to keep up.

Misha

Mark Adomanis exhibits the kind of elitist court appointed phony/crony attributes that run counter to an improved coverage at the more high profile of venues.

Criticizing what he says is only a part of what's wrong with the coverage. The other having to do with what the more high profile of venues utilize over the different and valid points of view, which aren't typically getting the nod.

Going on LR (the source which punked out of a live BBC appearance) to be "interviewed", while not participating in more intellectualy challenging discourse. The silly Tweet exchanges alomg the lines of: "Oh Jenny…" The selective in with the in crowd name dropping "Julia Ioffe has a really excellent…."

Blah, blah, blah.

yalensis

In America there was a case a couple of years back where Obama was criticized for jumping in and commenting. In this case, he actually knew and was friends with one of the players, Professor Henry Gates. A white Boston cop hassled and arrested Gates (who is African American) on the porch of his own house. Gates was charged with something like disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Nobody knew at the time (least of all the cop) that Gates was a friend of the President's. As one black comedian joked about it, the cop had picked "the wrong n*gg*r" to hassle. (Boston police have a reputation for being racist.) In this example too, it was a high-profile case that was on all the front pages, and Obama was specifically asked about it at a press conference. He responded by saying that he thought the cop was dumb. Obama didn't really do anything wrong, but he was lashed by a storm of criticism and accused of interfering in a legal matter.

Misha

Touching on one of your recent points, I know a couple of US court officers and a plethora of attorneys who commented on how American judges respond towards disrespectful attorneys and/or defendants.

According to these sources, most of the judges will stick to the letter of the law in a very even-handed way, while cautioning against rude behavior – adding that such manner can play a role in the sentencing, which can legally range.

In a Military Channel documentary, it was said that the Ustasha concentration camp official at Jasenovac, Dinko Sakic, received a heavier sentence on the way he carried on in court – laughing at the witness testimony against him.

... ... ..

Moscow Exile

Pussy Riot defending their brand name?

See: http://www.mk.ru/politics/article/2012/10/11/760228-alehina-i-tolokonnikova-obvinili-verzilova-v-moshennichestve.html

Translation:

Alekhin and Tolokonnikova have accused Verzilov of fraud

"Pussy Riot has no manager"

Punk band Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhin and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have disowned "their group manager" Pyotr Verzilov. Using the Radio Moscow Echo website, the group members published two sheets of paper where he was named as a cheater and a usurper.

"I officially declare that Pyotr Verzilov is not a representative of or plays any role in the group Pussy Riot.

Moreover, Pyotr Verzilov has repeatedly violated the idea of anonymity that is crucial for Pussy Riot, namely he has met journalists and engaged in public activities concerning Pussy Riot without having any right to do so. Pussy Riot is a girl in a balaklava and nothing else.
All press representations about the group made by Pyotr Verzilov are illegal, because, firstly: they have not been agreed with us as equal participants; secondly, facts have been disclosed that damage our concept of anonymity.

In essence, Pyotr Vezilov has taken over Pussy Riot in a devious half-cheating way and, I, as a representative of the group, resent this.

I want to repeat that both earlier and further interviews and representations by Pyotr Vezilov concerning Pussy Riot are at the very least illegal and at worst – provocation and lies.
Pyotr Verzilov assures that all his actions have been in accordance with the wishes of the group members who are now in gaol. This is not so. These statements are false. It is a falsehood that is intended to give him the status of being the principal and the legal representative of Pussy Riot, which he is not ", reads the first sheet of paper.

"After our arrest, Pyotr Verzilov seized control of Pussy Riot representation and decision making, something that, in principle and according to the group ideology, nobody could do, because legitimately the group can only be represented by a girl in a balaklava. In addition, the post of producer/promoter/organizer is not available in an anti-hierarchical punk band. All attempts to take such a position are treacherous towards punk and Pussy Riot

Tolokonnikova N.A. 11 October 2012

Alekhina M.V. 11 October 2012"

As written on the second sheet.

End of translaton.

Poor old Pyotr! This means he'll have to find himself a real job, which, if he's successful in finding gainful employment, will probably be a new experience for him.

marknesop

Not to mention a new wife, if he can find anyone who will have him. Hard to imagine their marriage – if there ever was one – will survive that as it is effectively a divorce. Hopefully that will address the question of whether Tolokonnikova will show up in Canada once she gets out of the jug. Not without her sponsor, whom I presume is Verzilov. She appears to have made a choice, and decided her vehicle to stardom is Pussy Riot. I'm pretty sure that was a mistake, although it's one for which I at least am grateful. We'll see.

Meanwhile, I see Masha Gessen is making all kinds of friends at her new job. I'm a little sorry I was so mean to her, if it truly is down to her ideas about reconfiguring the operation that Mumin Shakirov is now jobless.

yalensis

Some of the commenters indicated Petr might have already escaped to America with the little one? In which case, Tolok need to hire a good divorce laywer and try to get her kid back.
The girls might also think about hiring a good copyright lawyer. Petr might have already succeeded in patenting their "Pussy Riot" brand under his own name. In which case, he will get to keep all the money while they rot in jail.
Oi. what a mess…

Misha

Would think that they'd be wise to keep up appearances for PR (as in public relations) sake.

Alexander Mercouris

This repudiation of Verzilov is quite fascinating. At least it shows that he is NOT the guiding genius of Pussy Riot.

My own feeling is that despite continuing attempts to maintain a show of unity eg. in Samutsevich's interview with Miriam Elder in the Guardian today the cracks in the facade are starting to show. Firstly there is the still unexplained decision by Samutsevich to change lawyers and to argue her case separately from the others. Now we have this extraordinary attack on Verzilov who was by the way continuously appearing on British television before and during the trial when he seemed to be acting the part of the group's spokesman. Incidentally so far I have not found any reference to the attack on Verzilov in the British press. Miriam Elder does not discuss it in her interview with Samutsevich.

yalensis

Yes, and I think I have to back out a speculation I once made that the Pussy Riot was a cult with Petr as the alpha male guru (sort of like a non-violent Charles Manson type). That was the only theory that made sense to me at the time, but it is clearly not true.

If anything, Tolok is the cult leader (despite being the youngest and being a female), and Petr just a weaselly hanger-on, seeking to bask in her reflected glory. Tolok is a leader of the group, and an ideological fanatic.

Her ideology is ridiculous, but she evidently believes in it, and so do some of the others. Well, that's my latest theory. It does explain why Tolok feels the need to dismiss the father of her child, now that she has him pegged as insufficiently pure of heart. The corollary is that Samutsevich will also be rejected by the group as a sell-out, because she chose her personal well-being over martyrdom for the cause. (Whatever that cause is.)

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Yalensis,

I too thought Verzilov had a bigger role than he clearly does. I also agree with you about Samutsevich. For the moment she continues to sing the same song as the others. However if you study her recent interviews carefully it appears that she wants henceforth to protest in a more moderate way. I doubt that is Tolokonnikova's view.

Moscow Exile

October 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Dear AIexander Mercouris,
I should think that perhaps the reason why Elder makes no mention of Samutsevich's defence lawyers in her article, which I have not read, concerning her interview with the freed PR member and the arguments that were used in their client's defence or of Samutsevich's new lawyer, who successfully appealed against the conviction, and the legalities of the appeal argument, is that in doing so Elder would have had to admit (a) that Samutsevich's original defence lawyers were only showboating and using their clients' trial as a podium for their political position and (b) that Samutsevich won her appeal according to due process of Russian law, the existence of which due process, indeed the very existence of any systematic processs of law in Russia, the likes of Elder refuses to acknowledge as it a basic premise of the Western media that there is no law in Russia save the directives of the Evil One.

Moscow Exile

I should add that I have witnessed Russian criminal law in action in that I have participated as the chief witness in a criminal trial.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Moscow Exile,

I agree with all this.

Obviously I am in no position to give blanket endorsement of the entire Russian legal system. What I would say is that I read some months ago a comment by the President of the European Court of Human Rights in which he said that Russians should trust their courts more and that the jurisprudence of the Russian Constutitonal Court and of the Russian Supreme Court is up to world standards.

Speaking for myself, I used to deal when I worked in the Royal Courts of Justice with the odd Russian case. These were either civil commercial cases or family law cases. My experience was that Russian courts dealt with these sort of cases as well as did courts in western Europe. There was simply no comparison with the snake pits that are the court systems in places like Nigeria or the Indian Subcontinent where people actually advertise in newspapers offering to act as witnesses in court cases.

That of course was my own personal impression. However the latest World Bank report on the Russian economy seems to bear it out. It acknowledged that enforcement of contracts in Russia is of a high standard and comparable to western Europe. Apparently Russian has even created some sort of electronic database onto which contracts are registered to limit disputes and to ease enforcement. That is a great deal more than what we have here in Britain. The reason Russia comes so far down the ease of doing business surveys seemed according to the Wolrd Bank report to be related more to poor infrastructure problems than inefficiency or corruption on the part of the legal system.

Of course it may be different in the criminal justice system. Those cases I have looked at (Pussy Riot, Khodorkovsky, Magnitsky) seem to have been handled properly but they are high profile cases which presumably get the best judges and prosecutors and where the authorities can be expected to be careful to conduct themselves in the best way possible in view of likely outside scrutiny by the European Court of Human Rights. I accept that the situation may be very different in other cases or in cases tried in poor rural areas or small towns where local Judges may be intimidated or in the pocket of local bigwigs. However as I think I have said before, though Russian judges are excessively prosecution minded that is also true of courts and judges elsewhere. At least in Russia the trend in sentencing seems to be towards it becoming more lenient – the opposite of the trend in the US and Britain.

I would say that it is also a myth that western judiciaries are entirely free of political interference. I happen to know of some cases in Britain where political interference did occur but I am afraid I can't discuss them. However one well known case where political interference happened was the Oz trial of the 1970s. This was a prosecution for obscenity against the editors of a magazine. It is now acknowledged that after the editors were convicted political pressure was brought on the appeal Court to change the sentence and that Lord Widgery, the Lord Chief Justice who was actually presiding over the appeal Court, actually met the defendants in secret during the appeal in order to negotiate a compromise.

Alexander Mercouris

Here is the World Bank report I was referring to. The discussion on the ease of enforcing contracts in Russia (the crucial test of a commercial law system) is on page 31. I would add that the report as a whole is a great deal more optimistic about Russia than was the report on Russia released the previous year.

http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/rer-27-march2012-eng.pdf

As for the comment by the President of the European Court of Human Rights rating the Constitutional and Supreme Courts at world levels if anyone wants to find it I think I read it on Itar Tass.

yalensis

Western propaganda machine (including Miriam Elder, Mark Adomanis, and many others) invested a huge amount of ideological capital in this silly case. From it drawing very far-reaching conclusions about Russian legal system (or absence of Russian legal system) and other matters. Using it to "prove" that Russia is a rogue state ruled over by a mad dictator (just like Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, Akhmadinejad, etc etc), and thereby almost ripe for regime change to rescue the oppressed Russian people and liberate their oil and gas reserves.

In order for the ideology to work, everything has to be just so. Samutsevich's defection was the first fatal crack in the smooth seamless surface of this fake narrative. Despite attempts to salvage the party line about Russia being a lawless state, Sam's successful appeal proved the opposite. That's why everybody is scrambling now and trying to salvage something from this debacle.

Sam herself probably feels a lot of guilt about getting cold feet and betraying her "cause", hence she is in denial that her actions will have any repercussions on her future relations with her friends. Meanwhile, Western media has to try feverishly to stitch together a new narrative.

yalensis

P.S. In Sam's interview with Miriam Elder, I was interested to see that she read Chernyshevsky in the prison library. As an ex-literature major myself, I have only respect for anyyone who undertakes a serious study of Chernyshevsky. However, if Sam had actually read her "What is to be done" very closely, she would have seen that (1) Chernyshevsky's idea of women's lib involves women working at honorable professions, for example doctors. Not vulgar pole dancers. (2) Chernyshevsky's ideal revolutionary Rakhmetov, would have never taken the deal. He would have gone off to the colony and slept on a bed of nails, just to prove his point.

After they have some time to get over their shock and think about it, the other Pussies will never forgive Sam for bailing out. If she had done nothing and said nothing, and the judge had simply made that determination on her own, it would have been okay. Just a random act of Fate.

But the fact that Sam took charge of her own destiny, switched lawyers, and separated herself from the others is the thing that they will never forgive. This is is what makes her an anti-hero from the Chernyshevskian perspective. There is no chapter in "What is to be done" about "That woman who got cold feet and had herself sprung on a legal technicality".
This is why Miriam Elder doesn't mention this fact, and why Sam doesn't mention it either in her interview. They are both in denial, both still trying to pretend that Sam's release was some random act of Fate, and not the result of a deliberate effort (what many will see as a betrayal) on her part. Both still trying to pretend that Sam is fervently still devoted to the Pussy cause and will be out there fighting evil Putin every day from her position of freedom.
Based on my knowledge of literary prototypes, I make a prediction that can be verifiable or falsifiable within 5 years: Sam will pretend to still be involved in Pussy Riot, at least for a time; but the group will break up. When the other two return from the colony, they will ostracize her. Sam will move on, get a new life, marriage, children. Eventually, in order to assuage her Survivor's Guilt, she will have no option except to switch ideologies and become a fervent believer in Orthodox Church. In other words, she will switch from Chernyshevsky and pull a Dostoevsky.

marknesop

And she will write a book "My Life as a Pussy" (or something like that), detailing the inside story of being wild and free as an anarchist but ultimately acknowledging you can never win against the system. This is certainly not a bold prediction, as all three are likely deluged with book offers in both English and Russian. And a smart anarchist would strike now while the iron is hot, because this issue just does not have the legs to outlast their imprisonment.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Yalensis,

I agree with all of this. Incidentally I have got the impression that Samutsevich has a closer relationship with her family than Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina. Her father has been actively involved in defending her and gave evidence on her behalf both to the police and at the trial. I wonder whether it was he who suggested to her that she change lawyers? I may be wrong about this but I don't get the impression that Tolokonnikova's and Alyokhina's families have been so supportive of their daughters. If so this may also be a sign that Samutsevich is more distant from the group than the other two.

Incidentally when he was first interviewed by the police Samutsevich's father blamed Tolokonnikova for what had happened to his daughter and accused Tolokonnikova of turning Samutsevich into a "zombie". He withdrew this claim later and gave different evidence at the trial.

Incidentally I would not be in too much of a hurry to drop your Charles Manson theory. Based I am afraid on extensive experience my immediate reaction when I see women engage in the kind of grotesque sexual behaviour engaged in by members of Voina is to suspect gross sexual abuse by the men of the women in the group. A barely reported part of the Judgment is that the Judge found on the basis of psychiatric tests that both Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina (but not Samutsevich) suffer from personality disorders. This might also be a sign that they have suffered abuse. One of the Judge's reasons for sending them to prison was that this was the only way of ensuring that they obtained treatment. Unspoken in this is the possibility that she was anxious to separate Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina from the men who were abusing them. If there is anything to this then the whole Pussy Riot phenomenon and its "feminism" might be best understood as a rebellion by the women against the men in the group. This is of course all speculation (but I emphasise speculation based on extensive experience) and the criticisms of Verzilov may support it. Of course if this is right then it will all in time come out at which point the western supporters of Pussy Riot and the Guardian may find that they hav awkward explaining to do.

Moscow Exile

Is this woman Latynina really sane?

Look at this terrible rant from Novaya Gazeta on the PR appeal, where amongst other astounding statements, she writes:

"The Pussy Riot lawyers took the only adequate line of defence, and it is thanks to them, that this process became the first fully-fledged political process in Russia."

As I was translating I was going to make comments on her ramblings, but there are so many points to contend that I've just translated quickly what she has written.

She does go on so. It's a quick translation. My apologies for any innacuracies. But really, I wonder why people pay her to write such shit:

http://www.novayagazeta.ru/columns/54913.html

Translation:

Have Pussy Riot's Lawyers Been Acting in the Interests of their Clients?

The tale of Ekaterina Samutsevich's release reminds me of the granting of parole to Platon Lebedev.

As long as Putin is in the Kremlin, Khodorkovsky will remain in prison. One should not hope for anything: don't have any faith, don't fear, don't beg.

And then all of a sudden on August 8, 2012, during a visit of Lebedev's regular lawyers, whose duty it was to make his petition, the Velsky District Court suddenly grants his appeal and decides to reduce his sentence to 3 years and 4 months. That is to say, he would be released on March 2, 2013. After a month and a half, the Arkhangelsk Regional Court – who could have doubted it – overturns that decision. It is obvious that they cannot give Lebedev parole because that would have meant that they would have had to grant Khodorkovsky parole on the same grounds.
Why did the Velsky court make this decision? Because (a) it meant nothing; (b) it created a feeling of hope when there was none; (c) it led to a confusion of spirit in the convicted persons at a very important moment – the moment when Putin clearly wanted them to write for a pardon – (g) very opportunely, by the way, to the Strasbourg Court. You see, they say we have independent courts and they arrive at different decisions.

It's absolutely the same story with Ekaterina Samutsevich, a story with the change of her lawyer (as well as the story of the deprivation of Pyotr Verzilov's authority) - no politics but personal feelings and relationships, to which everyone is entitled. Samutsevich's lawyer was changed because the LGBT coterie and her friend Anno Komarov and the role of gays, transgender and lesbian in defence of Pussy Riot is probably more significant than the surrounding public.

What was next?

Now the cry has gone up that the girls were sent down because their lawyers had acted unprofessionally. Especially all of a tremble was Limonov, who stated that Samutsevich's release was a "slap in Violetta Volkova's face for her lack of professionalism". "We have first heard of it today, for example, that Samutsevich was detained before the girls rallied in the church." But the lawyer Igor Trunov (strange that deputies Zheleznyak and Schlegel didn't do this) had already rushed out with the same plea to the Bar Association. The authorities dream of depriving Pussy Riot's advocates of that status; Trunov, as I understand it, has decided to help them.

Well this "we first heard about it" is nonsense. Volkova talked about it in court. But yes, since all three lawyers argued that dancing was not a crime, they could not at the same time prove that "it was a crime, but Samutsevich did not take part in it".
Secondly, the Pussy Riot lawyers took the only adequate line of defence, and it is thanks to them, that this process became the first fully-fledged political process in Russia. A lawyer is obliged to comply with the interests of the applicant and the Pussy Riot lawyers did just that. I don't think that if counsel Volkova had repeated all the time: "Yes, Yes, these vile creatures were hooligans, but mine didn't manage to do this" it would have been in interests – in the broad sense of the word – of Ekaterina Samutsevich. In certain situations it's better to serve two years than to ruin your whole life.

Thirdly, by the altar danced five girls, but only three were judged. And how would have Volkova and Samutsevich looked if they had been shouting out everywhere, "Hey, I wasn't there, instead of me send down the three [??] who were there!"?

Fourthly, if dancing is to be considered a crime, then it's not very impressive to be taken away from the altar before the dancing has begun. As an analogy just imagine: six hijackers pop into a bank a bank to rob it. Five of them take the money but the sixth is cut off at the entrance by a guard. And the sixth says: Yes, I wanted to rob the bank and do not consider this a crime: the circumstances are not strongly mitigating.

Fifthly, Samutsevich's abrogation is not a "betrayal". She directly stated in a speech: "We reject the authority of the President", "I do not believe that we committed a crime", "there is no split whatsoever in the group Pussy Riot". God grant that we all behave that way if we find ourselves behind of bars.

Once again: the judge gave a suspended sentence and Samutsevich finds herself on absolutely the same grounds as when she first found herself locked up for 2 kopecks. And it happened because the Kremlin saw imaginary weakness. And so they decided: Hurrah! Now we (a) can show the West that we are not animals and (b) cause a split in the group, which (c) will come in handy for Strasburg.

But the most important thing in this story is, in my opinion, this: the authorities attempted to show the weakness of Pussy Riot, but instead, suddenly showed its own weakness. It showed that it remains, as before, ready to act rather more quickly in the exploitation of the weakness of others (in this case imaginary ones) – by creating a split in the opposition, by fines, by compromising on the TV screen, but not by major repressions causing a closure of accounts in the West.

End of translation

Definitely certifiable!

marknesop

It is the last point that most clearly explains Latynina's rage – that it will make Russia look more humane in the eyes of the world and bolster the appearance of a rule of law which relies on, well, rules and in which a decent lawyer can argue that a crime may or may not have been committed, but that in the instance her own client was not involved. For Latynina, the very worst outcome would be that Russia would become more civilized or would at least successfully create that appearance, because it is only so long as it can appear to be the captive plaything of a brutal and vicious thug that Latynina herself has an audience. Really, what would she have been if she had decided to write accurately about the things that take place in Russia, or even to be a writer of fiction on a subject totally detached from politics (which she is, she writes science fiction) for the international market? Ordinary at best. Nobody would have been giving her medals or calling her a hero anything.

The irony is that the supposedly brutal Russian state will not grant Latynina her fondest wish; the arrest her on some pretext, beat her silly and then clap her in a stone dungeon forever so she could write a Pulitzer prize-winner in her own feces on the walls. She really is the worst sort of rambling nut.

Moscow Exile

And here's another woman whom I disagree with:

http://en.novayagazeta.ru/politics/53279.html

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Moscow Exile,

What Latynina has done in what seems to be a confused and angry article is provide further grounds to question Volkova's competence. If you study Latynina's argument carefully what she seems to be saying is that Volkova could not make the arguments as forcefully in the trial that Khrunova made in the appeal because had she done so she would have undermined the defence of Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina who were also her clients.

That is actually true. There was an obvious conflict of interest between Samutsevich on the one hand and Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina on the other. For that very reason Volkova should not have been representing Samutsevich in the first place when she was also representing Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina and she should have advised Samutsevich right at the outset of the case to seek separate representation from the other two.

I am glad to see from Latynina's increasingly tortured arguments on their behalf that the lawyers are coming in for increasing criticism with even people like Limonov now criticising them. I repeat what I have been saying for months: if all three defendants in this case had been properly and professionally represented and had had their defence conducted properly and in a more conventional way all three would almost certainly be free by now.

Alexander Mercouris

"It's better to serve two years than to ruin your whole life".

I find that most sinister. And what a give away. Latynina obviously does want Samutsevich to take the martyr's crown and go to prison for two years. I am glad Samutsevich takes a different view.

Moscow Exile

As a by the way to this rather sad tale and mention therein of Radio Ekho Moskvy, I read an interesting piece on RT earlier today concerning the abomination that the Nobel Peace Prize has become and which has just been awarded to…wait for it, wait for it!… the European Union. See:

http://rt.com/news/eu-nobel-peace-prize-2012-250/
and
http://rt.com/politics/nobel-strange-senior-russian-268/

What's the connection with this PR story, one may ask? As I have said, earlier today and before the Peace Prize winner was announced, there appeared on RT this criticism of the whole Nobel Peace Prize show:

http://rt.com/news/nobel-peace-prize-controversy-213/

And there it states:

"This year's winner(s) will be drawn from 231 different nominations, 188 of whom are individuals, while the rest are organizations.

Among them are Russia's own radio station Ekho Moskvy and the Memorial human rights center".

Ekho Moskvy?

Publisher of the prison missives of those redoubtable fighters for freedom and justice Tolokonnikova and Alekhina?

But Peace prize?

Why?

As a matter of fact, I rather enjoy Ekho Moskvy and its panting liberalism. It's always good for a laugh. But if Ekho Moskvy was nominated for the Peace Prize, then why wasn't Latynina, head-banger Russian liberal in-chief, not nominated? Surely she should have been in the running for the illustrious award as well?

The funny thing for me about the liberals' favourite radio station Ekho Moskvy, and something that barely gets a mention amongst the chattering classes and Russian commentators, is the fact that the station is 66% state owned. So much for the stifling of free speech by the evil Putin regime.

cartman

When they gave it to Liu Xiaobo they must have ignored some of his truly repugnant views because they wanted to "send a message to the regime". Ekho Moskvy is the same, despite their "lets disenfranchise the poor" editorial line. I think it shows that Norwegians are just as vapid and celebrity obsessed as Americans and Brits.

But I am glad the EU won. They really need that money.

Moscow Exile

Dear Alexander Mercouris,

I agree entirely with what you wrote about Latynina's sentiments towards Samutsevich's appeal success, namely:

" 'It's better to serve two years than to ruin your whole life.'

I find that most sinister. And what a give away. Latynina obviously does want Samutsevich to take the martyr's crown and go to prison for two years. I am glad Samutsevich takes a different view".

Latynina would have liked to spend the next two years scribbling away about the monstrous injustice meeted out to an incarcerated Samutsevich whilst she, the illustrious "defender of freedom" journalist, lived a life of comfort.

She wrote another monstrous rant the other day, where she insisted that the majority of those who protested recently in Moscow are not members or supporters of the Communist Party or nationalist factions but middle class folk – like herself, of course. And her rant stank of elitism and derision towards the lumpenproletariat, whom she clearly believes should not be allowed to participate in elections.

The article was called: "Yulia Latynina on why we need to elect an opposition coordinating board" and it began:

"As a person not involved in them [the opposition coordinating committee elections](because, you know, not everybody should participate, some are needed to describe them), I just try to describe. I do not promise to be politically correct….

Most of those who have gone out on the marches are bourgeois. They are free and successful people. They want their leaders to be free and successful people. Most of them do not want a professional revolution, because they have more interesting life experiences. Freedom for them is not a goal but a means. Their circumstances reflect their actions…."

Doesn't she just love herself and her class of "intelligentsy" and hate the members of great unwashed, who clearly do not have "an interesting life and experience"!

Moscow Exile

October 14, 2012 at 4:26 am

Another point as regards the rant made by Yulia "Pinochet" Latynina (as Anatoly Karlin has humorously labelled her – see: http://darussophile.com/2012/10/14/what-happened-in-georgia-was-an-oligarchic-coup/#more-8720) against Samutsevich's decision to hire a new lawyer, which decision led to her appeal success, is the role that homosexuals and the LGBT movement in Moscow has played in ensuring that she is not at present suffering that noble fate which her other PR colleagues are enduring and has, therefore, avoided becoming a martyr for the cause of freedom in Russia, a shameful fact that Latynina suggests Samutsevich will suffer from for the rest of her life.

Now I don't know if Samutsevich is a homosexual: I couldn't care less one way or other if she is or is not. Latynina, however, states in her rant against Samutsevich's appeal success:

"История со сменой ей адвоката (как и история с лишением полномочий Петра Верзилова) - это никакая не политика, а личные чувства и отношения, на которые каждый человек имеет право…"

[The story about her changing her lawyer (as well as the story of the disempowerment of Pyotr Verzilov) is in no way about politics, but about personal feelings and relationships, which everyone has a right to.]

Well, I'm glad we've got that staight, Yulia. I agree with you that personal feelings are… well, personal. But political feelings? Hasn't everyone also got the right to have them as well?

She goes on:

"Адвоката Самуцевич сменила потому, что ЛГБТ-тусовке и ее другу Анно Комарову роль геев, трансгендеров и лесбиянок в защите Pussy Riot представляется, вероятно, несколько более значительной, чем окружающей публике".

[Samutsevich changed her lawyer because, for the LGBT clique and her friend Anno Komorov, the role of gays, people of transgender and lesbians in the defence of Pussy Riot very likely presented itself as being of far greater importance than the public at large.]

The public at large? Does she mean by that expression the 96% or so of Russians who are not homosexual …or does she mean the minority of Russian citizens that believe that PR did no wrong and were wrongly imprisoned, namely those who have the same opinion that she has in this matter?

It isi nteresting that Latynina presents herself as being a Liberal, but she doesn't appear to be a very PC one. In fact, in her rant concerning the need for an opposition coordinating committe, which I mentioned in a previous posting, she says:

"As a person not involved in them [the opposition coordinating committee elections](because, you know, not everybody should participate, some are needed to describe them), I just try to describe. I do not promise to be politically correct…."

(This is from her lenghty and turgid rant about OCC wich appeared in Komsomolskaya Pravda a few days ago. I was going to post the link when it appeared but it is such a convoluted, rambling piece that I trashed it.)

She does not promise to be PC in her reporting of the OCC election sham? So I guess that if any "LGBT clique", gays, lesbians, etc. don't vote the way she likes, she'll call them a bunch of queers who cannot recognize the nobility of the great fight for freedom in Russia because of their bering blinded by their sexual peccadilloes?

She really is a liberal-fascist, is our Yulia! In fact, the convolutions and turgidity of her prose reminds me very much of the style in which Mein Kampf is written and which leads most readers of it to conclude that its author is barking mad. Everyone is wrong and deserves her scorn if they veer away from her party line: those who vote for Putin should be disenfranchised; those who decide not to suffer a noble martyrdom for the cause should suffer the consequences of this ignoble decision for the rest of their lives.

As a footnote: LGBT activist Anno Komorov, whom Latynina mentions (quoted above), seems to be chummy with Elder of the Guardian.

See: https://twitter.com/annomosquito

yalensis

October 14, 2012 at 4:51 am

Very interesting intrigue from the gay angle. Reading between the lines and trying to decipher Latynina's mad barkings, seems like there might be a political split going on within the Russian gay movement itself.

Seen in this light, Sam's defection from the Verzilov-Tolok clique makes more sense. If Anno is in fact Sam's partner (=speculation), then by definition Sam's parents are her in-laws; therefore it also makes sense that they would all be acting together like a unified family, to do what is best for them and not what is best for Verzilov/Tolok.

Still on the gay theme, Russian media (and also Western) is reporting an increased level of violence against gays in Russia, like this recent attack against a Moscow nightclub:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57531273/masked-men-storm-gay-club-in-russia-3-hurt/

Along these lines, Russian Orthodox Church is flexing its new-found muscles by calling on government to ban gay clubs and federalize anti-gay discrimination laws.

Well, what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander: If ROC has privacy rights to prevent, say, raucous Pussies from invading their private altars to dance and carry on; then by the same token gays should have the right to dance in their own private clubs without ROC-inspired goons invading and beating them up.

marknesop

You see, I totally misread that one, although I did pick it up from Latynina's foam-spattered diatribe. I thought she was suggesting Volkhova was a lesbian.

I just put it down to Latynina praising those of whom she approves no matter if they are red to the elbows with the blood of the innocent, and flailing with anything in reach at those of whom she disapproves. It's quite possible she is allowed to continue her crazed barking without any interference from the Russian government because the government perceives she is the worst possible advertisement for the image westerners would like to present as representative of their countries – inclusive, free and welcoming. And in this the government can't be far wrong, because I can't think of anyone who is actually a worse advertisement for western society. Maybe there's a medal for that, too. We should nominate her for it.

yalensis

"It's better to serve two years than to ruin your whole life."

Well, that is partially true, but it depends on the quality of the Cause that one believes in(on a scale of 1 to 5 ranging from "Resistance to Nazi Occupation" to "Fight for my Right to Par-teee!"); and the level of one's commitment to this Cause (on a scale of 1 to 5 ranging from "True Believer" to "Lukewarm Platonic Supporter").

Why is Lat assuming that Sam has ruined her own life? Because Opps will call her a Judas and ostracize her? Maybe something even more sinister than that – like they will cut her out of the lucrative marketing deals?
Can Sam survive Latynina's severe disapproval? I don't know, but I predict that she will find Jesus eventually…. As will they all….

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Moscow Exile and Yalensis,

I completely missed the homophobic innuendo in Latynina's article. For the record I am sure I have seen a photo somewhere of Tolokonnikova wearing a pro gay badge on her lapel during a march. Who is Anno Komorov by the way?

Moscow Exile

Dear Alexander Mercouris,

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

http://annokomarov.livejournal.com/81938.html

He is the person in white. I write "he" because he asks on Facebook to be addressed as a male

His Facebook profile:

http://ru-ru.facebook.com/annokomarov

His name, by the way, is a mixture Latin and Russian: "Анно" is the Cyrillic spelling of "anno"; "Комаров" is the genitive plural of the Russian noun "комар" – "mosquito".
Hence, Анно Комаров means "The Year of the Mosquitoes".
http://ru-ru.facebook.com/annokomarov

yalensis

October 14, 2012 at 7:01 am

Dear Alexander: I missed Latynina's homophobic innuendo too, until MoscowExile pointed it out. We should probably get this clarified, because I don't want to be unfair to her.
This is a confusing issue, truly, because most of the major Opps personalities (including Latynina, Pussy Riot, etc.) are officially pro-gay, if only because Americans/Europeans insist on that as part of their overall liberal political plank. (Behind the scenes, however, several Opps leaders, including Nemtsov and Navalny, have been overheard making homophobic jokes.)

I think the American/European influence and the mixing of street demonstrations with gay rights has produced only bad consequences for the incipient Russian gay movement. It sets up a false dichotomy: If you are gay, then you are by definition a White-Ribbon traitor and pro-NATO compadore.

This leads to backlash against gays, because the Russian public at large, which is socially conservative and already identifies gays with pedophilia, now identifies all gays with liberals/traitors as well. In fact, the very term "liberast" is a play on "liberal" with "pederast", it confuses homosexuality with pedophilia, and also confuses being gay with opposition to the established order and just generally being a big troublemaker.

Not good. In order to avoid more backlash, gays should for the time being stay out of politics and focus on issues of fairness and reforming laws, etc. They will have to fight against increasing ROC influence, however. No way around that.

Alexander Mercouris

I notice that Latynina says that Volkova mentioned at the trial the fact that Samutsevich did not participate in the "punk prayer".

I have checked the day summaries of the trial provided by RAPSI

http://www.rapsinews.com/judicial_analyst/20120820/264341551.html

The summaries are not complete. In particular no summary is provided for the first day. Whilst I cannot therefore definitely say that Volkova did not mention at the trial that Samutsevich did not participate in the "punk prayer" the only reference I can find to this issue in the RAPSI summaries is not in any submission made to the Court by Volkova or by any of the other defence lawyers but in the evidence given to the Court by Samutsevich's father on the fourth day. A reason for thinking that Volkova may not have mentioned the point in her submissions to the Court during the trial is that If RAPSI's day summaries are to be believed neither she nor Feygin mentioned Samutsevich's non participation in the "punk prayer" in their closing speeches at the end of the trial.

I say all this because I have previously found that Latynina is not to be relied on when it comes to such matters. By the way the fact that it was Samutsevich's father who brought up the point in the trial strengthens my view that it was he and not some gay cabal that persuaded Samutsevich to instruct new lawyers. It also suggests that Samutsevich's father was getting independent legal advice.

yalensis

October 14, 2012 at 7:09 am

From what I understand, Anno is a biological female (who looks rather young and very cute, by the way) named Anna Komarova, but is undergoing some process to become a male, so the new name would be masculined Anno Komarov.

Russian law permits transgender changes and gives full gender rights to the person under their new gender. For example, a male becoming a female would then get an earlier retirement age.

Alexander Mercouris

Gosh guys, thanks!

I agree with both of you

(1) If Samutsevich chooses to go down in flames in the spirit of her hero Chernyshevsky that is a matter for her not for the likes of Latynina of all people to demand of her;

(2) in my opinion the mixing of the gay issue with opposition protest has been an all round disaster for exactly the reason Yalensis says; and

(3) Latynina is a "liberal fascist" exactly as Moscow Exile says. Her homophobic smear of Samutsevich shows it as does her nasty attempt to involve Anno Komarov (a person most Russians must find weird) in her decision. The one thing I would say is that the more time passes the less "liberal" Latynina looks and the more "fascist".

kieivite

October 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm

In case somebody missed this. This is part 3 of NTV coverage of opposition:

Reply
Moscow Exile

October 18, 2012 at 1:41 am

Thanks, Kievite!

The programme shows blatant child exploitation by Verzilov, US TV stations and the US Congress. Are US citizens so naive as not to see that he is milking the child for all her worth? Has Verzilov too few friends and/or relatives or too little money to look after his child while he propagandizes in the USA? as regards his income, does he earn one, and if so, how? Until quite recently he was studying philiosophy at MGU, but got sent down, unlike his wife, who dropped out of the same faculty earlier this year. Who financed Verzilov's education? Why did he leave Canada yet not relinquish his Canadian citizenship?

As regards towing his child around the USA, I wonder how many mothers with young children are at present incarcerarted in US gaols? Quite a large number, I should think. And only 3 weeks ago there was a headline story in the British press that each year 17,000 mothers in the UK are separated from their children as a result of the imposition
on these women of custodial sentences.

Yet Verzilov tows an innocent around the USA just to show how wicked Russians are as regards imprisoning young mothers.

In any case, I should imagine that the social services in the UK would seriously consider the removal of a child from the legal custody of its parents if they were to fornicate in
public and to take part in other scandalous public "events".

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Moscow Exile

October 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

So Verzilov has appeared with his child at the US Congress and in US TV studios?

Should his western sponsors again invite him to make a publicity tour with his child, then I suggest that his sponsors and supporters be shown some of the linked below photographs taken when he made an earlier public appearance in Russia, but this time with his now imprisoned wife, who was then also with child – the child with whom he has recently made public appearances in the USA:

http://cyanomod.livejournal.com/41073.html

and a translation of the following should also make interesting reading for Verzilov and Tolokonnikova's idolizers:

http://plucer.livejournal.com/61945.html

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yalensis

October 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Thanks for video, @kievite. So far I only had time to watch the first 15 minutes or so. Extremely distressing to see how that little girl is being exploited by Verzilov and his western sponsors.
Tolok needs to have a DNA test done on the kid. If Verzilov is not the biological father, then she needs to try to get the child back to Russia. May be already too late though.

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Misha

October 18, 2012 at 1:59 am

CNN's Erin Burnett has hosted at least two softball segments with Verzilov – one which included the child in question, flippantly calling for her mother.

Burnett's treatment of PR is noticeably different from her put down take of OWS:

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Moscow Exile

October 19, 2012 at 3:07 am

Verzilov waxing none too eloquently in Oslo, Norway. He's on tour owing to popular demand, it seems. The Oslo Freedom Forum describes Verzilov as an "activist and artist" who has shared "several provocative and politically-charged artistic performances by the Voina Group and the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot", but not as an MGU philosophy drop out who has no visible source of income. It also seems that neither his and PR supporters in Oslo or the USA, or anywhere else for that matter, has bothered to read or, if having read it, pay attention to the missive that his wife had published on the Moscow Echo website, wherein she disowned herself from her husband's actions as regards PR, saying that he was an imposter and that he had usurped the right to represent the "feminist punk group".

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marknesop

October 19, 2012 at 8:34 am

He should really reconsider those skinny jeans, because the combination of his broad hips and narrow shoulders makes him look like Mr. Bean.

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yalensis

October 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Well, Lordy Lordy, Navalny FINALLY broke his silence on Udaltsov. I guess after weeks of silence he finally received instructions from his pindosi handlers laying out the Western party line on this case. Party Line = Udaltsov is innocent, the video is a fake, it's all a put-up job and a pack of lies, a Belorussian/FSB provocation.

http://navalny.livejournal.com/743926.html

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marknesop

October 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm

This is Surkhov propaganda!!!

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kirill

October 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?

What a joke! The splicing claim is just retarded. Faking a video is not as simple as faking a photograph. And there are experts who can expose faked photos. It is way easier to expose faked video. Audio splicing can also be exposed but you can't fake a video and nobody here or amongst the mass media consumers has ever seen a faked video. They are propaganda myths of convenience.

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Misha

October 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm

A contrasting take on what led to Udaltsov's arrest:

http://www.rferl.org/content/power-vertical-siloviki-tv/24742941.html

Note the suggestion of an overbearingly influential TV show which encourages legal action. Such a TV situation has existed in the US – typically dealing with consumer fraud and environmental safety issues.

.

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kirill

October 18, 2012 at 6:28 am

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20121018/176725475.html

Apparently not all western media were spreading pro-Pussy Riot propaganda. But you now see how they will be punished for spreading the truth.

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kirill

October 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20121019/176741780.html

So Samutsevich is running to the European Court of Human Rights. These clowns need to learn what civilized behaviour is. Human rights are not about crapping on somebody's head because you have some BS "cause". The worshipers at the cathedral have human rights too and the law that S. got charged with is designed exactly for hooligans such as S.

If this so-called court of human rights will pronounce in favour of S. then it will just affirm that it is a propaganda kangaroo court. Does it deal with any actual abuse cases? Paco Larranaga is being kept in jail in Spain because he is not admitting his "guilt". I would say that is a clear violation of his human rights to impose such terms on his parole. The reason he was transferred out of the Phillipines was exactly because his jail term was travesty of justice so why does he have to admit to "guilt". What a joke!

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marknesop

October 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

The ECHR is kind of a buy-now-pay-later proposition anyway, whereby Samutsevich and Pussy Riot get another day in the news cycle, but Samutsevich will be probably waiting on her first hip replacement by the time the case actually gets to the hearing that decides whether the court will even allow the case to be heard. Just another day in the life of arrested-development adolescents who must do or say something every day that keeps the attention on themselves. Also, Samutsevich must downplay any inference that she is not a true Pussy and that she has "gone straight". This is likely her only chance to ever be anything, since she is not the most attractive of the group by far and the telegenic Tolokonnikova would certainly steal the limelight if she were free.

I had to laugh at her "Russia is just a big prison" interview with the invertebrate sycophant Mark Bennets, in which with one breath she was wide-eyed in wonder at the support they had received from heavyweight pop-music stars like Madonna and Paul McCartney, and with the next was grimacing at the dreadful saccharine pop music that was constantly played in the prison, as if it were some kind of torture. What does she think Madonna and Sir Paul play? Stripped-down mosh-pit alternative?

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Misha

October 18, 2012 at 10:13 pm

The "support" factor across the political spectrum has some questionable choices.

In the instance of the above, the ECHR option serves a BS cycle.

Other possibilities include the kind of structures (think tanks) that Andreas Umland recently harped on.

Mind you that such entities can serve a constructive purpose.

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Alexander MercourisA

October 19, 2012 at 1:52 am

If Mark will excuse a little blog whoring I analysed the prospects of a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in my second Pussy Riot post. In my opinion it has practically no prospect of success.

marknesop

Whore away. I agree completely, but an application to the court is still a good tactical move, and that's why Samutsevich is making it. It keeps the Pussy Riot case in the news cycle, which is a sort of diminishing-returns venue; once you drop out of the news, you generally have to do something at least as outrageous or more outrageous than the original event – or have something at least as outrageous or more outrageous done to you – to get back in.

This way, every aspect of the case can be dragged in simply on the basis of Samutsevich's application, as a sort of "refresher" for the old couple living in White Plains who might not have already heard of Pussy Riot. Meanwhile, an application to the ECHR will be spun – for certain applicants – by the western press as if it had an excellent chance of success. It's no-lose under those circumstances.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Mark,

I agree with all of this. Also Pussy Riot and their supporters can always do or try to do what Khodorkovksy and his supporters including Amsterdam and Gessen have done which is claim that defeats in the European Court of Human Rights are actually victories.

[July 23, 2012 ] Russian stooge

July 23, 2012

Moscow Exile

Here is an intriguing comment that has appeared in today's Moscow Times, of all places, about the mindset of "Pussy Riot".

The writer, John Freedman, is, I should think, an MT arts critic. He writes of the origin of the infamous female punk group and of when he last saw them as participants in an "event" over 6 months ago.

Freedman says that at this discussion "event", when asked about their activities and to what extent they considered themselves artists, Tolokonnikova, a founder of "Pussy Riot" (now languishing away in one of the Evil One's prisons) and wife of Pyotr Verzilov, leader of a Moscow-based so-called politicized artists collective that broke away fom the "poiticized artistic" group "Voina" in 2009, "responded plainly that members of Voina were artists only insofar as they had 'something to say politically'" and declared that "art is pointless without a political message". Freedman also states that Tolokonnikova believes that "one cannot remain politically or artistically independent while collaborating with the authorities".

In other words, she believes that freedoms with limitations – in other words, the situation that exists in a state where there is a "rule of law" and in which no one is above that law – is not "real" freedom, presumably even if such freedoms with responsibility exist in the most advanced democracies such as, I presume, the good ol' US of A.

So members of "Pussy Riot", "Voina" and all other such "artists" are in reality members of that species of super egoists known as anarchists, who believe that "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law".

Yet "serious" political commentators support these "artists" and their beliefs.

(Rather ironcal that the MT journalist that penned this article is called Freeman.)

See: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/article/meeting-pussy-riot-neither-silly-nor-hooligans/462447.html

Moscow Exile

Further to the "Pussy Riot" story above, news here is that yet another group of artists has jumped onto the "support Pussy Riot" bandwagon, namely those outstandingly intellectually gifted Californian "musicians" known as "Red Hot Chilli Peppers", who, whilst in Moscow last weekend to perform a concert, took it upon themselves to send a letter to Gazeta.ru, in which they declared their "love" and support for the incarcerated female "artists".

This news in Moskovsky Komsomolets has led to several readers' comments, one of which stated that as regards Tolokonnikova and her husband:

"Возбудить дела по факту ёбли в музее в присутствии детей-посетителей и по факту запихивания мороженных куриц в пизду в универсаме на глазах детишек (предложила депутат Мизулина – очень нравственная женщина, бывшая "яблочница" Явлинского)…"

[A case should be brought against them for fucking in a museum in the presence of child visitors and for stuffing frozen chicken up the twat in a supermarket in front of children, as state-deputy Mizulina, a very moral woman and former member of Yavlinsky's "Apple" party has proposed..."]

Ars Gratia Artis?

No apologies if the vulgarities above have offended anyone, as I demand the freedom to express myself in whatever way I wish to do so – so don't damn well tell me what to do, right?

marknesop

This is exactly what I have been saying – the "freedom" that is supposed to be axiomatic of western democracy and which is dangled before opposition groups as theirs for the taking is not to be found in any developed society. You can't park your car anywhere you like. You can't walk across the street and expect traffic to stop for you – you are not a God in the west, and you have to obey rules and regulations just like every other place where you are not the only person in town. Because there are people who persist in acting as if there were no such laws, there are police to regulate the behavior they will not, and courts to decide how they will be punished, and I don't think the members of Pussy Riot would be comfortable living in an apartment block with known and unregulated thieves or pedophiles, or would extoll their right to do as they please. The notion of utopian freedom is always based on the ideal that people will recognize and observe the limits of right and wrong without outside guidance and supervision, and I'm afraid that's just not how people are; unless we want to go back to small tribal groups led by a single individual who rules until he or she is deposed by someone stronger. And if that's not might makes right, what is it?

You might be able to make a case that Russia's judiciary and law enforcement need improvement, and indeed situations where a policeman solicits a bribe from you at a traffic stop are rare to non-existent in the west. There's a good deal of room for improvement there, and it should be argued for. But Manichean comparisons of Russia as a lawless and barbaric state and an enlightened west where laws are unnecessary because the people are free should not still be fooling anyone. Even Alekseeva in her ramblings cited above suggests that Russians know what's what because they have the Internet and have seen foreign films. Do you see a west where no laws are necessary in films? Not in any that pretend to represent reality.

Moscow Exile

They're calling in the big guns now for their support:

See: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/pussy-riot-counts-on-madonna-for-help/462518.html

The Russian judiciary must be trembling in its collective boots!

yalensis

I'm not offended, just surprised. How is it even physically possible to stuff a frozen chicken up somebody's twat? A drumstick maybe … but a whole chicken???

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Moscow Exile,

I have already made known my views about Pussy Riot and the conduct of their case:

1. The argument that art follows politics is a very old one and was pretty much universal amongst the Russian intelligentsia prior to the Revolution. As with other things she says Tolokonnikova (who seems to be the chief ideologist of the group) comes across as an ultra leftist and one heavily influenced by the pre Revolutionary Russian avant garde. It is a view with which I actually have some time. The trouble is that in Pussy Riot's case I see no evidence of any "art" at all. Criminal misbehaviour is not art, not even performance art.

2. As I said in a comment on Mark's previous post, the reason the case is spiralling out of control is because of the disgraceful tactics of the girls' lawyers who instead of acting in their clients' best interests are milking the case and exploiting the girls for political purposes. Instead of negotiating a plea bargain, which is what this case calls for, they are engaging in ridiculous stunts like trying to call Putin and the Patriarch as witnesses (of what one wonders?), nonsensical claims that they are political prisoners, hunger strikes and attacks on the authority of the court and on the integrity of the court process onn the incredible basis that the girls have not been charged with anything substantive notwithstanding that a crime has definitely been committed. The result is an absurdist circus which is keeping the girls in prison whilst if there had been a plea bargain they would surely by now be free. Bluntly I get the impression that the lawyers and the white ribbon oppositionists like Alexeyeva would rather the girls remained in prison so their case can be milked for all it's worth rather than have them free. In any other country where this sort of thing happened the court would by now have sacked the girls' lawyers (as in the UK and US it most definitely has the power to do). In Russia however it either won't or can't. The callous exploitation of three young and confused and (I suspect for much of the time) spaced out girls disgusts me.

3. As for the girls' celebrity supporters in the west I would ask them the same question I would be asking their lawyers: are all these expressions of support actually helping the girls so as to help them go free or are they instead simply helping to politicise a simple case thereby increasing the danger of a prison sentence.

I predict that when this case comes before the European Court of Human Rights (as one day it doubtless will) the Court's criticisms of the behaviour of the lawyers will be very severe.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Yalensis,

She actually did stick a frozen chicken up her twat! There's actually film of it. I have seen it. However I didn't see any children present. If there were no children present then to my mind this is a harmless incident and no one in fact is being prosecuted for it.

cartman

There is still damage done to the shopkeeper. Russia used to have serious laws against stealing from merchants, but I think they were repealed under Putin. The prison system swelled to an all-time high by the end of the 90s. She would have gone to prison for a long time if she did it during the Yeltsin years.

As for Pussy Riot, it seems they are hated by the other people calling themselves Voina. Apparently they could not come up with "great" ideas like torturing cats and painting crude pictures of phalli on public structures. It is all about their egos. One has Canadian citizenship, but I doubt Canada is as lucky to have this guy as he thinks they are.

yalensis

Definition of art can be very subjective, especially performance art. In America a famous performance artist (sorry, don't remember her name) presented a "piece" in which she publicly had sexual intercourse with her agent. This was supposed to be a statement about the relationship between art and commerce. Art "connoisseurs" applauded and thought it was great.

As Pope John Cleese remarks, in this bit, "I may not know much about art, but I know what I like!"

Russian stooge

August 17, 2012

kirill

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20120817/175285583.html

What a load of drivel.

"The case confirms a major ideological shift within the Kremlin, which is now relying on religion, not the public, for political endorsement, Oreshkin said.

The majority of Russians will not support the shift in the long run, but the strategy can work for the next several years because "the heavenly mandate" allows the Kremlin to suppress public protests without harming its legitimacy in its own eyes, he said."

How can this inference be made from this case? What has trying the three Vagina Thugs for desecrating a church and hooliganism have to do with Putin desperately trying to cling to power via religion. This is a complete non sequitur to these event. If Putin was desperate to stay in power because of growing discontent then the last thing he would want is some nobodies to become martyrs and the focus of anti-government hate. Putin would instead pander to the alleged growing "pro-west" sentiment and slap a six month suspended sentence and some community service. Actually, I bet they would never have been tried under this section of the criminal law.

As AK has labeled it this is the Putin Derangement Syndrome. In order for the above theory to have any basis in observed reality, it would require some sort of pro-Church propaganda campaign in the Russian media and having Putin pander to Church.

NONE of this is in evidence.

marknesop

This is just pretzel logic that will later be offered in support of Putin's "catastrophic loss" when he has served two terms; see – Iw fall off a cliff sooner or later. Obviously, the public just wouldn't put up with him any more.

You can't make this stuff up, as a friend of mine is fond of saying.

Misha

More crapola:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/16/us-russia-pussyriot-musicians-idUSBRE87F0ZO20120816

yalensis

August 18, 2012 at 3:59 am

I love the way Reuters poses it as: If you speak out for PR then you are brave. If you oppose them or remain silent, then you are a coward afraid of Kremlin apprisals. As if there is only one permitted view in this complicated case.

I liked Dima Bilan's response: "Musicians have a huge influence, but everyone's opinion is very personal," said Bilan. "This is the same as asking someone 'Who did you vote for?'"

Dima has credibility because he won Eurovision a couple of years ago, bringing much prestige to Russia.

Moscow Exile

From yesterday's UK Daily telegraph Pussy Riot are "young and brave freedom fighters in a society where political liberty is slowly being eaten away" and the PR "event" that led to their arrest is described as a "prank concert at the holiest spot in the Russian Orthodox Church". (It's not, actually. The "holiest spot" in the ROC is the St. Trinity-Sergius Lavra at Sergiev-Posad, situated some 40 miles or so from Moscow. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_Lavra_of_St._Sergius.)

The convicted members of PR are described in the article written by Anna Nemtsova as "three young, skinny girls" (they're 22-, 24- and 29-year-old women, actually) who were wearing "short sexy dresses, colorful tights and their now-famous bright balaclavas". (Nemtsova uses US English orthography – is she a US citizen?) Note: "sexy" and in an ROC church to boot, where the display of naked female limbs is frowned upon: their rules, not mine; *their* rules nevertheless and *their* house of worship.

Surely Anna Nemtsova (no relation to Boris Nemtsov, I think) should be aware of this. (See: http://pulitzercenter.org/people/anna-nemtsova)

According to Nemtsova, in the Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer, Moscow, these delightful young things calling themselves Pussy Riot "sang a 'punk prayer' that asked the Virgin Mary to expel President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin, using a in Orthodoxy, and a church, for their act of political satire".

Here is a translation of part of the "traditional intercession prayer" that they "sang" in the cathedral:

Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
Holy shit, shit, Lord's shit!
St. Maria, Virgin, become a feminist…
Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin.
Bitch! You had better believed in God!

Curiously, no mention by Nemtsova of PR's mouthing of obscenities whilst "praying".

Nemtsova continues by saying that despite protests by Madonna and other such renowned "celebrities" in the world of popular entertainment, "the musicians remained in jail". (It seems that this article was written before PR were convicted yesterday.)

Musicians? Has Nemtsova actually heard and seen PR "perform"?

After having conceded that "some 65 percent of Russians identify themselves as Orthodox" and that many of these members of the ROC were "were offended by their barbs aimed at the church, and what they saw as scandalous sacrilege", the journalist then continues: "Political observers say the decision to imprison the girls was the result of a deal struck between Putin and the church, without much involvement by the Kremlin's administration".

No names. No quotations. Just "observers say".

Nemtsova also maintains in her article that "at least 17 political cases have gone to Russian courts".

Again: no names, no details.

Nemtsova then goes on to claim that as regards PR's actions, Putin is not simply "afraid of their 'war' and then quotes a PR member who had not been arrested, a certain Yevgeniya Rakina, who said: " 'Virgin Mary redeem us from Putin!' that was of greatest concern to Putin. 'I am convinced that Putin is afraid of the Virgin Mary actually taking his power away from him…'."

The Mother of God and, no doubt, His heavenly host of angels saints lined up against the Evil Sauron, eh? No wonder Putin has reason to be scared!

Nemtsova then goes on to say that the lives of PR members may be under threat by quoting Nationalist leader, Alexander Belov, who stated: "indeed, there are quite a few radical nationalists eager to kill the girls".

I'm quite sure there are. And if PR had chosen to "perform" in a mosque calling upon Allah and his prophet Mohammed to rid Russia of Putin, there would very likely now be no debate over whether the lives of PR were at risk.

She then winds up by saying: "When, this week, a flash mob comprising 18 Moscow activists returned to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior for a silent Pussy Girl homage, complete with punk outfits, it didn't take long before security officers arrived to beat up the activists".

Note: the security officers didn't ask them to leave and/or forcibly removed those that refused to comply with this request: they arrived to "beat up" the activists".

Well of course they did!

Earlier this week a Telegraph Russophobic blogger stated that in the run up to and after the presidential election,"thousands of protesters have been arrested and beaten up by the Moscow police".

That's what always happens in the "brutal Mafia state that is Russia", to quote the erstwhile Guardian Moscow correspondent Luke Harding.

See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/the-daily-beast/9481567/Analysis-how-Pussy-Riot-rocked-Russia.html

marknesop

Freedom fighters?? Seriously??? I was only joking when I called them that. Unbelievable. How long will it be until they morph into "opposition leaders", I ask myself.

Actually, Boris Nemtsov does have a daughter, quite lovely in this photo, although I've seen others since in which she has….ummm….bulked up a bit. Her name is Zhanna, not that far a leap from Anna, and she is a television show hostess according to info included with her photos (as well as onetime political candidate), so in fact I would not be at all surprised if it were her. Interestingly, the second site describes her as an advocate for polygamy. Dad would certainly be onboard for that, to say the very least.

In other PR news, Tony Cartalucci over at Land Destroyer has an interesting screen cap from the National Endowment for Democracy which describes Oksana Chelysheva – NED's Girl Friday for the Helsinki-based Russian-Chechen Friendship Society, as well as a member of the Steering Committee of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum – as the "Pussy Riot Support Campaign Coordinator". Well, well; the hand of the U.S. State Department, once again with a finger stirring the pot. I wish I could say I'm surprised, but I seem to have lost the capacity. Or had it beaten out of me, more like.

If you're wondering why the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society is based in Finland, it's because the previous Director was convicted of inciting ethnic or racial hatred in 2006 for publishing articles written by Chechen separatist leaders, and the Russian government designated it an extremist organization and shut it down.

Politics makes strange bedfellows, and all that.

yalensis
August 18, 2012 at 4:15 am

Tony Cartalucci quote:

Finally, "Pussy Riot" are not punk rockers. They are US State Department-backed instruments of corporate-financier hegemony, used as leverage against a Russian government standing in the way of Wall Street and London's order of international corporatocracy. The punk culture, ironically represents the antithesis of such an international order – ironic indeed that so many have superficially defended "Pussy Riot" as targeted "punkers" when substantively they are "poseurs."

Amen, amen and triple Amen!

think Hegel might say the world is being turned on its head, everything is being turned into its opposite. Agitators for global rule of Goldman-Sachs go about wearing Che Guevara T-shirts, and militants for corporatist fascism pose as rebellious punk rockers…. What a world, what a world….

Misha

Has been the Sorosian way.

marknesop

I think Pussy Riot actually do consider themselves artists and musicians, although all they really do is dress up and shout, and I think Tony Cartalucci gets a little carried away sometimes with that capitalist running-dog stuff, but I love his site for his references; I often wonder, where in hell does the guy find this stuff?

yalensis

Meanwhile, half-naked girls with chainsaws cut down a giant Uniate cross in Kiev:

http://www.dni.ru/society/2012/8/18/239081.html

yalensis

But wait, there's more, the plot thickens! Turns out, this big cross in Kiev was put there by Catholic Pope John Paul II to celebrate the "Orange Revolution". So, like this blogger points out, EITHER the sexy girls with chainsaws are secret Putin/ROC agents (I wouldn't put it past them); OR they simply do not have a clue what they are doing.
This ideological/cultural war is getting very confusing, can we please just go back to the Cold War?

http://awas1952.livejournal.com/1473360.html?thread=97043792#t97043792

Moscow Exile

Here is an intriguing comment that has appeared in today's Moscow Times, of all places, about the mindset of "Pussy Riot".

The writer, John Freedman, is, I should think, an MT arts critic. He writes of the origin of the infamous female punk group and of when he last saw them as participants in an "event" over 6 months ago.

Freedman says that at this discussion "event", when asked about their activities and to what extent they considered themselves artists, Tolokonnikova, a founder of "Pussy Riot" (now languishing away in one of the Evil One's prisons) and wife of Pyotr Verzilov, leader of a Moscow-based so-called politicized artists collective that broke away fom the "poiticized artistic" group "Voina" in 2009, "responded plainly that members of Voina were artists only insofar as they had 'something to say politically'" and declared that "art is pointless without a political message". Freedman also states that Tolokonnikova believes that "one cannot remain politically or artistically independent while collaborating with the authorities".

In other words, she believes that freedoms with limitations – in other words, the situation that exists in a state where there is a "rule of law" and in which no one is above that law – is not "real" freedom, presumably even if such freedoms with responsibility exist in the most advanced democracies such as, I presume, the good ol' US of A.

So members of "Pussy Riot", "Voina" and all other such "artists" are in reality members of that species of super egoists known as anarchists, who believe that "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law".

Yet "serious" political commentators support these "artists" and their beliefs.

(Rather ironcal that the MT journalist that penned this article is called Freeman.)

See: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/article/meeting-pussy-riot-neither-silly-nor-hooligans/462447.html

Moscow Exile

Further to the "Pussy Riot" story above, news here is that yet another group of artists has jumped onto the "support Pussy Riot" bandwagon, namely those outstandingly intellectually gifted Californian "musicians" known as "Red Hot Chilli Peppers", who, whilst in Moscow last weekend to perform a concert, took it upon themselves to send a letter to Gazeta.ru, in which they declared their "love" and support for the incarcerated female "artists".

This news in Moskovsky Komsomolets has led to several readers' comments, one of which stated that as regards Tolokonnikova and her husband:

"Возбудить дела по факту ёбли в музее в присутствии детей-посетителей и по факту запихивания мороженных куриц в пизду в универсаме на глазах детишек (предложила депутат Мизулина – очень нравственная женщина, бывшая "яблочница" Явлинского)…"

[A case should be brought against them for fucking in a museum in the presence of child visitors and for stuffing frozen chicken up the twat in a supermarket in front of children, as state-deputy Mizulina, a very moral woman and former member of Yavlinsky's "Apple" party has proposed..."]

Ars Gratia Artis?

No apologies if the vulgarities above have offended anyone, as I demand the freedom to express myself in whatever way I wish to do so – so don't damn well tell me what to do, right?

marknesop

This is exactly what I have been saying – the "freedom" that is supposed to be axiomatic of western democracy and which is dangled before opposition groups as theirs for the taking is not to be found in any developed society. You can't park your car anywhere you like. You can't walk across the street and expect traffic to stop for you – you are not a God in the west, and you have to obey rules and regulations just like every other place where you are not the only person in town. Because there are people who persist in acting as if there were no such laws, there are police to regulate the behavior they will not, and courts to decide how they will be punished, and I don't think the members of Pussy Riot would be comfortable living in an apartment block with known and unregulated thieves or pedophiles, or would extoll their right to do as they please. The notion of utopian freedom is always based on the ideal that people will recognize and observe the limits of right and wrong without outside guidance and supervision, and I'm afraid that's just not how people are; unless we want to go back to small tribal groups led by a single individual who rules until he or she is deposed by someone stronger. And if that's not might makes right, what is it?

You might be able to make a case that Russia's judiciary and law enforcement need improvement, and indeed situations where a policeman solicits a bribe from you at a traffic stop are rare to non-existent in the west. There's a good deal of room for improvement there, and it should be argued for. But Manichean comparisons of Russia as a lawless and barbaric state and an enlightened west where laws are unnecessary because the people are free should not still be fooling anyone. Even Alekseeva in her ramblings cited above suggests that Russians know what's what because they have the Internet and have seen foreign films. Do you see a west where no laws are necessary in films? Not in any that pretend to represent reality.

Moscow Exile

They're calling in the big guns now for their support:

See: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/pussy-riot-counts-on-madonna-for-help/462518.html

The Russian judiciary must be trembling in its collective boots!

yalensis

I'm not offended, just surprised. How is it even physically possible to stuff a frozen chicken up somebody's twat? A drumstick maybe … but a whole chicken???

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Moscow Exile,

I have already made known my views about Pussy Riot and the conduct of their case:

1. The argument that art follows politics is a very old one and was pretty much universal amongst the Russian intelligentsia prior to the Revolution. As with other things she says Tolokonnikova (who seems to be the chief ideologist of the group) comes across as an ultra leftist and one heavily influenced by the pre Revolutionary Russian avant garde. It is a view with which I actually have some time. The trouble is that in Pussy Riot's case I see no evidence of any "art" at all. Criminal misbehaviour is not art, not even performance art.

2. As I said in a comment on Mark's previous post, the reason the case is spiralling out of control is because of the disgraceful tactics of the girls' lawyers who instead of acting in their clients' best interests are milking the case and exploiting the girls for political purposes. Instead of negotiating a plea bargain, which is what this case calls for, they are engaging in ridiculous stunts like trying to call Putin and the Patriarch as witnesses (of what one wonders?), nonsensical claims that they are political prisoners, hunger strikes and attacks on the authority of the court and on the integrity of the court process onn the incredible basis that the girls have not been charged with anything substantive notwithstanding that a crime has definitely been committed. The result is an absurdist circus which is keeping the girls in prison whilst if there had been a plea bargain they would surely by now be free. Bluntly I get the impression that the lawyers and the white ribbon oppositionists like Alexeyeva would rather the girls remained in prison so their case can be milked for all it's worth rather than have them free. In any other country where this sort of thing happened the court would by now have sacked the girls' lawyers (as in the UK and US it most definitely has the power to do). In Russia however it either won't or can't. The callous exploitation of three young and confused and (I suspect for much of the time) spaced out girls disgusts me.

3. As for the girls' celebrity supporters in the west I would ask them the same question I would be asking their lawyers: are all these expressions of support actually helping the girls so as to help them go free or are they instead simply helping to politicise a simple case thereby increasing the danger of a prison sentence.

I predict that when this case comes before the European Court of Human Rights (as one day it doubtless will) the Court's criticisms of the behaviour of the lawyers will be very severe.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Yalensis,

She actually did stick a frozen chicken up her twat! There's actually film of it. I have seen it. However I didn't see any children present. If there were no children present then to my mind this is a harmless incident and no one in fact is being prosecuted for it.

cartman

There is still damage done to the shopkeeper. Russia used to have serious laws against stealing from merchants, but I think they were repealed under Putin. The prison system swelled to an all-time high by the end of the 90s. She would have gone to prison for a long time if she did it during the Yeltsin years.

As for Pussy Riot, it seems they are hated by the other people calling themselves Voina. Apparently they could not come up with "great" ideas like torturing cats and painting crude pictures of phalli on public structures. It is all about their egos. One has Canadian citizenship, but I doubt Canada is as lucky to have this guy as he thinks they are.

yalensis

Definition of art can be very subjective, especially performance art. In America a famous performance artist (sorry, don't remember her name) presented a "piece" in which she publicly had sexual intercourse with her agent. This was supposed to be a statement about the relationship between art and commerce. Art "connoisseurs" applauded and thought it was great.

As Pope John Cleese remarks, in this bit, "I may not know much about art, but I know what I like!"

Qui finance et manipule les Pussy Riots ? by Michel Garroté

Оригинал публикации: Qui finance et manipule les Pussy Riots ?
("dreuz.info", Франция)

Кто финансирует и манипулирует Pussy Riot?Сюжет: Дело Pussy Riot

Комментарии:234

В статье от 21 августа я уже пытался доказать, что европейские и, в первую очередь, французские СМИ вешают нам лапшу на уши про этих девушек, которые завывали в московском соборе. На самом деле, они далеко не так уж невинны. Чуть ниже читатели смогут открыть для себя немало интересных сведений, которые проливают свет на истинное лицо Pussy Riot и источники их финансирования. По правде говоря, меня самого все этот вовсе не удивило. Я ни на секунду не мог поверить, что эти нищие русские и украинские девчушки с одной извилиной в голове были способны самостоятельно оплатить все поездки, проживание, еду, контакты с прессой, пиар, связи с общественностью, рекламу, связи с шоу-бизнесом, эксгибиционизм, танцы живота и вымени, завывания и т.д.

Читайте также: Панк-роковский авторитаризм

Американские левые НКО, которые финансируются администрацией Барака Обамы, воспользовались Pussy Riot в собственных целях. Судите сами: бывший мэр Нью-Йорка Эд Кох (Ed Koch) написал свои комментарии по этому делу, из которых следует, что он одобряет решение московского суда. Вот несколько отрывков из его комментария: "Культурная элита Запада встает на защиту нарушителей спокойствия в Храме Христа Спасителя. Некоторые одобряют эти словесные нападки на Путина. Другие поддерживают критику руководства православной церкви, а также ее поддержку путинского режима. Все эти люди характеризуют ситуацию как проблему свободы слова. Я не вхожу в их число. Мне кажется, что очень многие сторонники Pussy Riot совершенно справедливо заняли бы иную позицию, если бы у нас в США в афроамериканскую церковь вторглись трое ведущих себя подобным образом мужчин или женщин, которые бы осквернили это священное место и оскорбили пастора. Мне вспоминается, что, когда я был мэром в 1989 году, группа активистов движения Act up (ассоциация борьбы против СПИДа), которые были несправедливо разгневаны на нашего кардинала Джона О'Коннора (John O'Connor), вторглись в Собор Святого Патрика и прервали мессу, сбросив на пол облатки, являющиеся для католиков настоящим телом Христа. Некоторых из них задержали. Хотя, насколько я помню, никого из них так и не наказали. Мне кажется, что решение российского суда наказать подобное проявление ненависти справедливо и достойно аплодисментов, а не критики и насмешек. Можно, конечно, рассуждать о тяжести наказания, спрашивать себя, не был бы штраф уместнее тюремного заключения, однако все это – удел российской уголовной процедуры" - делает вывод Эд Кох.

Также по теме: Злоключения панк-певиц настраивают россиян против цркви

Бывший советник президента Рейгана, экономист и писатель Пол Крейг Робертс (Paul Craig Roberts) заявил, в свою очередь, что финансируемые из Вашингтона некоммерческие организации использовали Pussy Riot, чтобы навредить российскому правительству и даже, как он сказал, демонизировать его.

Что касается финансирования Pussy Riot, советую обратить внимание на эту статью. Сегодня нам известно, что изгнанный из страны олигарх Борис Березовский, по всей видимости, является автором этой пиар-кампании: он воспользовался Pussy Riot, чтобы нанести информационный удар по Кремлю. Бывшая правая рука бизнесмена Александр Гольдфарб по его собственным словам собирал средства через свою международную правозащитную организацию (создана Борисом Березовским) и передавал их проекту "Голос", который занимается защитой Pussy Riot на международной арене. Более того, ходят слухи о том, что эти средства были собраны и на то, чтобы крупное английское пиар-агентство могло заплатить западным звездам шоу-бизнеса, и те выступили в поддержку группы. Все наивные люди, которые верили, что отважные звезды искренне встают на защиту российских панков, будут очень расстроены: заявление в поддержку Pussy Riot стоит порядка 100 000 евро.

Опубликовано: 22/09/2012 12:23

Dessa:Прикиньте к примеру...

24/09/2012, 12:44

... в храме католической Польши подобные уродки начали бы свои пляски с задиранием ног и оскорблением девы Марии - да все верующие бы поднялись против них!

AlexeyRA:Все наивные люди, которые верили, что отважные звезды искренне встают на защиту российских панков, будут очень расстроены: заявление в поддержку Pussy Riot стоит порядка 100 000 евро.

24/09/2012, 12:49

Пффф... Сэр Пол так дёшево себя оценил?

Gard1:Годиков через 10-20 эти две дуры приползут на карачках в какую-нибудь сельскую церковь и будут ходить к батюшке на исповедь как на работу

24/09/2012, 12:53

Годиков через 10-20 эти две дуры приползут на карачках в какую-нибудь сельскую церковь и будут ходить к батюшке на исповедь как на работу. Кроме Самуцевич конечно. Это ведь не ее народ.

Hospitaller:За Пусси, Гальманы, за Гельманами мировое Еврейство, как

24/09/2012, 12:55

инструментарий, за мировым еврейством англосаксы,
тянут потянут, гадят нагадят, но всё бесполезно.
Тонкие гейручки и заплывшие жиром мозги могут справиться только с маленькими и бедными странами Ближнего Востока и то временно.

серпух:
В статье от 21 августа я уже пытался доказать, что европейские и, в первую очередь, французские СМИ вешают нам лапшу на уши про этих девушек

24/09/2012, 13:12

отрадно что франки сами признают это;)

Victor_1:Для глупай_ДНК79 & K

24/09/2012, 13:14

По 100 000 евро - это для мировых звезд. Остальным просьба не волноваться. Трудитесь в качестве волонтеров.

обыватель какой то:одно радует, на глупых неадекватов слиберастов народ не обращает внимание.

24/09/2012, 13:18

видно уже достали по полной! а глупый соответствует своему нику!) хотя я бы выразился не так мягко

Мах:
> Все наивные люди, которые верили, что отважные звезды искренне встают на защиту российских панков

24/09/2012, 13:21

Российские панки даже не в курсе, что на свете есть Pussy Riot. А если им показать этих пуси и сказать, что это их коллеги, они ржать будут неделю.

Интереснее, почему об этом молчит российская власть? В голову приходит только одно, - у самих рыльце в пушку в этой истории.

А чокнутые бабы интересуют меньше всего, вот чесслово. )

Незабудка:Мужику Какойта посвящается..

24/09/2012, 13:26

Вся эта правдивая статья , в том числе эта фраза:"Все наивные люди, которые верили, что отважные звезды искренне встают на защиту российских панков, будут очень расстроены: заявление в поддержку Pussy Riot стоит порядка 100 000 евро."
Вы можете не верить в Бога, но Божий суд дело времени. Я не удивлюсь, что Толоконникова это уже поняла. И после колонии уйдет в монастырь.

Мах:Панки, хой!

24/09/2012, 13:28

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bZzM4s0Hgs

yzverg:(без заголовка)

24/09/2012, 13:37

Церкви надо бы больше и чаще говорить о спасении души, а не препираться с недоумками по судам да по сайтам. Тогда все встанет на свои места.

А сейчас церковь вроде как на одних весах с хулиганами взвешивается.

Инициативный Евсей:Дело не в том, насколько порочны девицы из Пусси Риот

24/09/2012, 13:52

А в реакции большей части российского общества, зомбированного путинской и православной пропагандой. И это намного более печально, чем отсидка 20-летних глупышек

Жамарт:ПОЧЕМУ ЗАПАДУ НИКОГДА НЕ ПОНЯТЬ РУССКИХ!

24/09/2012, 13:53

Первый вопрос: "Почему русский народ осуществил демократические преобразования и пошел на такие невероятные лишения во время ПЕРЕСТРОЙКИ?".

Ответ очень прост, как и все остальное в этом мире: "Это было необходимо для присоединения к ВТО, получения доступа к мировой кредитно-финансовой системе, что позволило бы ликвидировать технологический разрыв и не остаться на обочине цивилизации. Короче говоря,сломить тенденцию к изоляционизму (пример КНДР, куда может завести изоляционизм)."

Второй вопрос:"Почему русский народ, после стольких трудностей и лишений, теперь отказывается от некоторых признаков демократических свобод?"

Ответ очень прост, как и все остальное в этом мире: "Русский народ решил поставленные задачи - Россия член ВТО, имеет теперь доступ к мировой кредитно-финансовой системе и даже стала донором МВФ, технологический разрыв устранен, мы влились в общий поток человеческой цивилизации. Короче говоря, Россия всё поставила на кон, было тяжело, он Россия опять на коне! А теперь всё решает только время, но нужна стабильность, что бы защитить все эти достижения..."

И все кто не понимает этого, или дебилы, или малолетки!

24/09/2012, 13:56
А на западе это явление было очень распространено. Одно время я думал, что панки - это отсутствие всякой морали, вкуса и т.д. Но многие мне приводили в пример Пикассо и Малевича, говоря, что дескать их тоже не понимали и подвергали гонениям, а оказалось - это очень и очень высокое исскуство. Кто знает, может со временем эти панковские "протесты" станут признанными в мире исскуства, и их будет обсуждать вся "креативная молодёжь", но на данном этапе - тюрьма. Хотя.... Вон Пушкина ито в ссылку посылали, да и Лермонтов на Кавказ поехал не на отдых.

Так, что может искусство, чтобы стать признанным - должно пройти период отрицания? На данном этапе, я не могу понять и принять панков, и их акции (да, что там акции, зачастую и внешний вид) вызывают отвращение.

leau:Как интересно!

24/09/2012, 14:12

Несколько французов возмущаются появлению такой статьи на ПРОАМЕРИКАНСКОМ блоге...
Леон_Z:Тупые тёлки как инструмент провокации
24/09/2012, 14:18

вот правильное название для статьи
ЦЕМЕНТ ЗДЕСЬ:(без заголовка)
24/09/2012, 14:28

Ну прикольнулись девчонки в офисно-торговом центре ХХС, построенном ворами на ворованные деньги. И чо? А все эти возмущающиеся веруны, которые машут хоругвями и орут про наказание для девчонок, ещё совсем недавно бегали на первомайские демонстрации, где махали портретами вождей и орали СЛАВА КПСС.

Мерзкие скользкие людишки, грамотно мимикрирующие под конъюктуру рынка.

VIV:Не так уж и важно, кто стоит за бешенными ... .

24/09/2012, 14:44

Нас проверили "на вшивость". Получили- приговор и реальный срок. Теперь главное не пойти на попятную(как зюганов). Они должны либо покаяться и просить о снисхождении, либо два года трудотерапии...

Dr.Black:Все наивные люди, которые верили, что отважные звезды искренне встают на защиту российских панков, будут очень расстроены

24/09/2012, 15:00

Я думаю, что немало и таких, кто выступил вполне "бескорыстно". Да, они не получили гонорар, но зато их имя было растиражировано всеми СМИ: "вау! теперь и Джек Восьмёркин выступил за Пусси!". А такая реклама сама по себе стоит очень дорого. Но меня не покидает мысль о том, что если бы Пусси не было, их стоило бы придумать. Они вскрыли давно набухавший нарыв на теле общества и выпустили кучу гноя. Это всегда полезно. Если бы патриарх был благочестивым нестяжателем, им бы пришлось петь в другом месте и на другую тему.

Sumbar:И скучно, и грустно...

24/09/2012, 15:25

До чего докатились на Западе. Если раньше там поддерживали действительно достойных - опальных поэтов, вынужденных эмигрантов, настоящих диссидентов, то теперь вот эти пусси.Да еще вот "Активист российского ЛГБТ-движения Алексей Киселев попросил политического убежища в Испании, опасаясь ареста по "Болотному делу"
Куда катится этот мир?
ТyльскийТокарев:

Создаётся �список Pussy Riot� по аналогии со �списком Магнитского�

24/09/2012, 15:27

Наш ответ - �список Pussy Riot�! Нарушители прав человека в России не будут развлекаться на �растлённом� Западе. Визовая диффамация! Мы с этим справимся�, - написал адвокат Надежды Толоконниковой Марк Фейгин в своем микроблоге.

Более того, защитник намекнул, что в его планах и введение списка российских чиновников, которым запрещен въезд в европейские страны.
По утверждению источника из окружения скандальной панк-группы, сам Фейгин и стал главным инициатором введения списка.

В �список Pussy Riot� войдут все участники процесса над девушками. В частности, судья Марина Сырова и прокурор Александр Никифоров, а также все судьи, которые выносили решение по продлению ареста Pussy Riot�, - пояснил Известиям собеседник.

Предполагается, что в список также будут включены журналисты, которые, по мнению адвокатов осужденных девушек и международных правозащитников, предвзято освещали суд над Pussy Riot.

В ходе своего визита, который продолжается уже четвертый день, адвокаты девушек Марк Фейгин, Виолетта Волкова, Николай Полозов и супруг Надежды Толоконниковой Петр Верзилов посетили Нью-Йорк, но основную часть своей поездки проводят в Вашингтоне. С адвокатами и Верзиловым в США находится и дочка Толоконниковой - Гера.

В столице США они провели переговоры с представителями американского отделения международной правозащитной организации Amnesty International, которая уже признала Pussy Riot узниками совести. Именно американские правозащитники и пригласили защитников панк-группы посетить США. (далее)

kvazar:Чушь какая-то про манипуляцию.
24/09/2012, 15:56

Если мой сосед хулиганит, его Госдеп что-ли финансирует?

Рожденный в СССР!:Все дерьмо плывет с запада!

24/09/2012, 16:06

Пора воспользоваться Сталинским опытом и отправлять дерьмо на запад.

krsk_: по-моему, только корявая пропаганда нашего Незаменимого

24/09/2012, 16:56

или снова госдеп всемогущий ? )
нн:Как-т орезко поумнели гейропецкие демократы

24/09/2012, 17:33

Наверное, не хотят, чтобы 3.14ськи сплясали на могилах в Пантеоне или натянули свои позорные намордники на памятники французским деятелям. Такая вот она, свобода творческого выражения во французском варианте..
Nitroacid:Вопролс!
24/09/2012, 22:21

заявление в поддержку Pussy Riot стоит порядка 100 000 евро.
А сами дурочки хоть по столько получили? Или за сникерс и трусы?
Юсуф-бей:
Советская прпаганда жива? И уже снова действует!

26/09/2012, 15:50

Когда к вам лезут в карман, и тырят из него последнее, то вы относитесь к этому даже с пониманием, ну как же власть жить хочет, а следовательно ей нужно сладко жрать и пить! Но боже упаси, если кто то для борьбы с зажравшейся властью получает средства в помощь для святого дела, за вас же пакостников, которые себя называя православными, таковыми считаться не могут, и это было показательно в истории с девчонками которые имели смелость выступить против депутатов в рясах и блюдолиза патриарха агента КГБ, призывающего выбирать зло, а именно того кто и так обокрал каждого россиянина.

Так вот эти православные вместо того что бы простить и помолиться господу за грешные души этих божьих овец, решило взять на себя право вершить сатанинский суд от имени бога!!! Самое интересное что все понимают дело высосано из пальца по поручению сами знаете кого, которого и называть то страшно уже, по причине им указаным новые законы явить миру, это как обьявлять всех несогласных шпионами и наймитами, критику в адрес власти объявить призывом к террору, и т.д.

Но понимая это все радостно улюлюкают и кричат ату их, не помня того, что уже такое было в 30 х годах, и все тогда загремели под одну метлу по лагерям и правые и левые. Память у вас россияне короткая!!!

RussianAmericanMam: Легко оскорблять когда ответить нельзя

28/09/2012, 16:09

Как легко писать эту чушь когда ответить то никто не может. Только в этой несчатсной стране писака может сказать *нищие русские и украинские девчушки с одной извилиной в голове*. Это конечно оплаченый крик бессилия, но все равно как жалко это страну. И моих бедных соотчественников которые читают вот это и честно верят.
возмущенный:

господа !!

28/09/2012, 18:17

Я то-же против власти ,против Путина, но причем здесь церковь? разве мало мест для выражения своего мнения. да хоть на красной площади или это уже не модно ? господа все уже закончено.точки поставлены.

Бешеные 3.15си на своем месте, хотя им гарантировали максимум штраф. они (Pisi Riot) одним названием уже поставили себя вне порядочного общества.

Ну почему, почему, почему эти бляди не пошли выступать в синагогу или мечеть???

Все было бы намного проще...

Дык они же суки, а не дуры!

oper_1974
Jul. 15th, 2012 02:14 pm (UTC)

Вот именно.

Все кремлевцы хороши,заигрались в игры с целью сохранения власm сами разбудили спящую собаку.

А вообще и без конспирологии расклад ясен:

Путин и поставил ДАМу править чтобы после его правления набрать опять максимум голосов т.к. после такого правления ВВП кажется благом.

Только вот весь ущерб внутренней и внешней политики он не просчитал,а может просчитал но решил что с этим он справится.

Но вот не справиться теперь со всеми процессами и минами замедленного действия которые были заложены в прежние годы.

Да и вертикаль показала свою обратную сторону медали - продажность и коньюктурность.

Дорога без конца - ГЮЛЬЧАТАИ КАЖУТ ХАРИ

escapistus wrote:

Jul. 15th, 2012 04:06 pm (UTC) Факт Не берусь утверждать, чей там этот проект (уверен, не обошлось без самой РПЦ), но ясно только одно.

Пусек в ХХС ПРОВЕЛИ, а не они сами продрались через металлодетекторы, развернуть действо им ПОЗВОЛИЛИ, а не прощёлкали долгую возню возле амвона, продолжать свое представление некоторое время им ТАКЖЕ ПОЗВОЛИЛИ, ИМИТИРУЯ борьбу с ними на амвоне.

После чего из ХХС спокойно выпустили. Все это следует из видеозаписей.

skri_pach wrote:

Jul. 15th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC) Не спорю, инсайд штука интересная, но в данном случае куда интереснее, на мой взгляд, корреляция с подавлением христианства в Европе и расформированием стран Ближнего Востока. Машинка сложная и знание ЗАЧЕМ она, может быть практичнее знания как именно она устроена. Нет? Link | Reply | Thread

tomsksapiens wrote:

Jul. 15th, 2012 02:40 pm (UTC) Что и трэба доказать! Пуськи - девки. Просто девки. Омэрикосцы запустили механизм уничтожения Власти в стране. Руками самой же Власти. Классика. И зачем она такая нужна? Нет. Не так. КОМУ она такая нужна? Кто ее хозяин?

old_russ wrote:
Jul. 15th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
О том, что одним из источников наезда на патриарха и РПЦ МП в целом, является АП,
а пусирайки (втемную) полностью проект людей из АП, мне стало известно с месяц назад,
 если не раньше. Источник надежный, но доказательств не было, вот и не пиарил.
Спасибо за подтверждение.
Александр Романюк wrote:
Jul. 15th, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC)

Было бы крайне интересно узнать комментарии адвокатов и самих "девочек" на такое объяснение, но, увы, сначала они должны признать себя идиотами и идиотками на ниточках, а этого они не признают никогда, так как если есть ниточки, то они не позволят. Мда, с Кеннеди и Освальдом всё было понятнее.

belursus
Jul. 15th, 2012 03:26 pm (UTC)

Кто-то потихоньку начинает сливать Медведа. Хотя. если после Ливии Медвед как-то связан и с пусириот, то это уже совсем полный либерализм. Не верится.

inlandme

Jul. 15th, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)

Во-первых это было понятно по информационному цунами, хлещущему уже который месяц.
Если бы за ними не стояли эти мощные силы (через Гельмана, которому сегодня активно щемят хвост, но он надеется на спасительные силы заказчиков), они могли бы взорвать ХХС, но шуму было бы гораздо меньше. Надо быть очень наивным, чтобы предполагать что все что льется из либерос-медиа - банальная идеологическая поддержка. Последний раз столько шуму было в щедро оплачиваемых материалах на тему защиты "честного бизнесмена" Ходора. Ставки очень велики.

evlana
Jul. 15th, 2012 04:11 pm (UTC)

Да. Давно так не глумились над хомяками. Их знамя борьбы со страшной РПЦ - проект Кремля. Я бы на их месте обиделась. Такой плевок в лицо.

leto_volodya wrote:
Jul. 15th, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC)

Зря вы ее пропиарили - судя по ее последнему посту

http://rednossonja.livejournal.com/478196.html

Она малолетняя дурочка, поддерживающая Пуси Риот. Не владеет она никакой информацией, и мало того, не владеет логикой.



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