Pussy Riot Hits Putin Where It Hurts

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Despite the fact that this trial sought to portray Pussy Riot as a trio of Satanic lesbians – the judge said they were peddling “homosexual propaganda,” – their real crime was hitting Vladimir Putin in the one place he’s seldom hit: His cynical manipulation of Russian Orthodoxy. The clerical establishment is barely distinguishable from an apparatus of state security. Russia’s brand of orthodoxy is based on the concept that Moscow is the “Third Rome” and on a belief in Russian uniqueness. Being “unique,” Russia sees itself as surrounded by numerous enemies that the FSB must combat. The FSB helps to protect the Orthodox sphere of influence against Western proselytising, and in return the Church blesses the security service in its struggles with enemies of the state.

This dark nexus was exactly what Pussy Riot’s punk prayer aimed to expose. Yekaterina Samutsevich, in her closing statement, accused the authorities of “presenting a new political project to restore Russia’s lost spiritual values, a project that has little to do with a genuine concern for Russian Orthodoxy’s history and culture.” The Church, she went on, had become a well-lit and icon-laden soundstage for Putin’s re-election campaign. “In our performance we dared, without the Patriarch’s blessing, to unite the visual imagery of Orthodox culture with that of protest culture, thus suggesting that Orthodox culture belongs not only to the Russian Orthodox Church, the Patriarch, and Putin, but that it could also ally itself with civic rebellion and the spirit of protest in Russia.”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/michaelweiss/100177054/pussy-riot-hit-putin-where-hes-seldom-hit-his-manipulation-of-russian-orthodoxy/

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