Pussy Riot activists reach out to Orthodox Church

By staff writers
28 Dec 2013

The Pussy Riot activists recently released from prison have “extended an olive branch” to the Russian Orthodox Church.

The two women said they “believe its charitable work had an important role to play in their campaign to change Russia’s prison culture from one of violence and punishment to one of rehabilitation.”

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina say that they are now more politically radicalised after their 21-month prison sentence than before.

They are determined to campaign for the rights of all other prisoners in Russia, and told reporters: “Our attitude to Vladimir Putin has not changed. We’d like to do what we said in our last action - we’d like him to go away…”

Ms Tolokonnikova referred to the song 'Virgin Mary, Get Rid of Putin,' which punk band Pussy Riot had performed at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Cathedral in Moscow prior to their arrest.

Vladimir Putin is a very closed, opaque chekist,” said Ms Tolokonnikova, using the Russian slang for a secret policeman.

“He is very much afraid. He builds walls around him that block out reality. Many of the things he said about Pussy Riot were so far from the truth, but it was clear he really believed them.

"I think he believes that Western countries are a threat, that it’s a big bad world out there where houses walk on chicken legs and there is a global masonic conspiracy. I don’t want to live in this terrifying fairytale,” she added.

[Ekk/3]

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