Anti-Putin feminist punks on trial in Moscow globegazette.com A Moscow court on Friday launched the trial of three feminist rockers who face a possible seven years in prison for performing a “punk prayer” against Vladimir Putin from the pulpit of Russia’s largest cathedral. The case of the three members of the band Pussy Riot has deeply divided Russia, pitting advocates of openness against the forces of order and the powerful Russian Orthodox Church. The three had been held in jail for more than four months without a single court hearing.
The February stunt, two weeks before the election that returned Putin to the presidency, was designed to offend. Five members of Pussy Riot _ wearing brightly colored balaclavas and miniskirts _ briefly took over the pulpit at Christ The Savior Cathedral, chanting “Mother Mary, drive Putin away” and high-kicking cancan-style.
…The church says the women deserve to be prosecuted for their “blasphemous” performance from a place near the altar on which no lay people are allowed to stand. But thousands of believers have signed a petition urging the church to forgive the band.
In this Feb. 21, 2012 file photo, members of the Russian radical feminist group Pussy Riot try to perform at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. The trial of feminist punk rockers who chanted a “punk prayer” against President Vladimir Putin from the pulpit of Russia’s largest cathedral started in Moscow Friday, July 20, 2012 amid controversy over the prank that divided devout believers, Kremlin critics and ordinary Russians. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, File)