Voices from Russia

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Kasparov May Face Jail Over “Bitten” Policeman

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On Saturday, media sources said Russian chess grandmaster-turned-opposition activist Garry Kasparov, who’s a supporter of the jailed Pussy Riot members, can follow them to prison over a clash with the OMON. Police said Kasparov bit the finger of one of several OMONtsy dragging him away from a Moscow court where three Pussy Riot members were convicted on Friday over an anti-Kremlin “punk prayer” at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The RBC Daily news website said that the accusation could land him in jail for five years on charges of attacking a policeman on duty. Moscow GUMVD confirmed they were preparing to hand over the case to the SKP, the Russian investigatory service, which will conduct a check into the matter.

Rusnovosti.ru reported that Kasparov claimed that the OMON arrested him for no reason as he was giving an interview, twisting his arms and kicking him in the crotch on the way to the police van. He also said on Ekho Moskvy radio that he would sue police over the incident. Kasparov also denied biting anyone and said the officer in question, Denis Ratnikov, could’ve run afoul of a police dog. An MVD spokesman said the force was willing to conduct an examination to compare Kasparov’s bite to that of their service dogs. Moscow GUMVD never specified why they detained Kasparov. The OMON arrested approximately 50 people Friday at the Khamovnichesky district court, where Pussy Riot members received gaol terms of two years for hooliganism and inciting religious hatred. Kasparov, 49, who retired from chess in 2005, is one of the most ardent critics of President Vladimir Putin. He’s supported Pussy Riot, who claim the Kremlin punished them for mocking its alliance with the Church, which endorsed Putin’s presidential bid earlier this year.

18 August 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120818/175298307.html

FEOR Spokesman Borukh Gorin said that if Pussy Riot Tried to Pull a “Punk Prayer” in a Synagogue They Could’ve Been Shot

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On Saturday, Borukh Gorin, the head of the public relations department of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FEOR), said on Facebook that if the Pussy Riot activists had conducted a “punk prayer” similar to the stunt conducted in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in a synagogue, their imprisonment would only have strengthened the reputation of the Russian authorities in the eyes of religious Jews.

He said, “Option One is the tragic one. The girls walk into the prayer room, run onto the bimah, and put on their balaclavas. Poor things, they don’t know that amongst the congregants is the Israeli minister for the Dead Sea Affairs, who has security guards from the appropriate special services on visits abroad. The agents saw these balaclavas when they were trained in junior sergeant school. The cut is exactly the same as the balaclavas used in the 1972 Munich Olympics (where a terrorist attack against Israeli athletes occurred). A nervous agent could well have opened fire. An international conflict, weeping mothers, orphaned children.

The second scenario is ‘cautiously optimistic’. The minister isn’t in the synagogue, and there are no nervous reserve officers or repenting criminals there. Law-abiding parishioners drag the girls from the bimah, call the police, and hand the girls over to them. A press release on the monstrous anti-Semitic act is issued on four continents. International Jewish organisations patiently wait for a fair punishment and create a lot of commotion if no such punishment is given. Of course, they don’t demand that the girls be executed by stoning, but they don’t raise a scandal if the girls get a prison sentence.

The third scenario is comical and the most probable. The girls don’t even reach the doors of the prayer room and young security guards remove them from the building. Please, don’t try it. My predictions can well be wrong, but it’s very probable that I’m right”.

On Friday, the Moscow Khamovnichesky Court sentenced the Pussy Riot activists to two years in a penal colony for their stunt in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

18 August 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_08_18/In-synagogue-Pussy-Riot-could-have-been-shot-for-punk-prayer/

Russian Orthodox Church Forgives Pussy Riot

Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov (1958- ), Superior of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow and the confessor to the Putin family

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The original image was ruined by being overly dark, having a glarey light in the corner, and two anonymous “busy” figures (an el crapo image in all respects)… so, I “cut” Fr Tikhon out from that and mounted his image on a nice Carpatho-Russian scene… that’s a legit use of PhotoShop.

BMD

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On Saturday, two top clerics in the Russian Orthodox Church said that it has forgiven the members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot, convicted by a Moscow court of hooliganism and sentenced to prison, for briefly taking over a cathedral and performing a raucous prayer for deliverance from Vladimir Putin. Fr Tikhon Shevkunov, the superior of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow, who’s widely believed to be the Russian president’s spiritual counsellor, said on state television that his church forgave the singers right after their “punk prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow in February. The bespectacled cleric said, “The church has been sometimes accused of not forgiving them. We did forgive them from the very start, but such actions should be cut short by society and authorities”.

Archpriest Maksim Kozlov agreed, but he also said on state TV that his church hopes the young women and their supporters change their ways, saying, “We’re simply praying and hoping that these young women and all these people shouting in front of the court building, committing sacrilegious acts not only in Russia but in other countries, realise that their acts are awful. Despite this, the church is asking for mercy within the limits of law”.

Both clerics supported the court’s decision to prosecute Pussy Riot, despite an international outcry that labelled the action unfair. Governments, including those in the United States, Britain, France, and Germany, denounced the sentences as disproportionate. The Pussy Riot case has emphasised the vast influence of the Russian Orthodox Church. Although church and state are formally separate, the church identifies itself as the heart of Russian national identity and critics say its strength effectively makes it a quasi-state entity. Some Orthodox groups and many believers had urged strong punishment for an action they consider blasphemous.

The head of the church, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev, made no secret of his strong support for Putin, praising his leadership as “God’s miracle”, and he described the punk performance as part of an assault by “enemy forces” on the church. The Orthodox Church said in a statement after Friday’s verdict that the band’s stunt was a “sacrilege” and a “reflection of rude animosity toward millions of people and their feelings”. It also asked the authorities to “show clemency toward the convicted in the hope that they will refrain from new sacrilegious actions”.

18 August 2012

Mansur Mirovalev

Associated Press

http://www.centredaily.com/2012/08/17/3302917/pussy-riot-members-sentenced-to.html

Editor’s Note:

Do note the smug, smarmy, and sanctimonious tone of the above post. The West has no moral high ground… not after the Easter bombing of Belgrade in ’99… not after the selling of organs from murdered Serbs in Kosovo… not after the repeated use of “black sites” for torture. I simply say that all groups have multiple sins on their plates… and that the West has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to teach those of us whose spiritual or physical home is in the Orthosphere.

I find the schoolmarmish condescension of Western institutions and people noxious and hypocritical in the extreme. I’d say that they have their own disordered house to put in order. Let them do that before they lecture the rest of us…

BMD

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