Grigory Ryzhakov – Russian Writer

What’s the Fuss About Pussy Riot?

Pussy Riot, photo by Игорь Мухин at ru.wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Here I am breaking the major blogger’s rule again: don’t write about politics or religion unless it’s your speciality. I think I’ll ignore it. I don’t give my emotional opinion here, just some analysis of what’s happened. You’re welcome to discuss it with me over a virtual cup of tea.

The ongoing trial of Pussy Riot has divided the nation. Regardless of its outcome the female punk-rock band has now secured the place in history alongside Joan of Arc and Suffragettes. But why did the act of hooliganism from a previously relatively unknown feminist group attract so much attention?

But Grisha, you may ask me, who are these women calling themselves Pussy Riot? Okay, if you haven’t heard of them before reading this, here’s the summary of what they’ve done: on the 21st of February this year three members of this feminist punk band came to the main Russian church in Moscow to perform a radical prayer song (watch the video below) asking The Holy Mother to banish Putin from the Kremlin.

Why did they do it?

It was their way to protest against Putin becoming Russian president for the third time (well, the fourth time de facto).

Why did they do it in the church?

  • Russian Orthodox Church has an established reputation of supporting the Kremlin since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It’s rumoured (or universally accepted by the establishment) that  KGB (nowadays  called FSB) infiltrated the church a long time ago. Russian rulers know like nobody else that Religion is the opium of the people (Karl Marx).
  • Patriarch Kirill (the head of The Russian Orthodox Church) has backed Putin as the nation’s leader in his bid for presidency.

Therefore, Putin is symbolically portrayed by the media and probably perceived by many people as the God’s annointed ruler (помазанник божий) and that is something Pussy Riot could never accept. By commiting their public escapade in the church in front of the cameras, the girl’s band made a political statement:

  • Putin is an impostor and not the people’s ruler
  • Patriarch Kirill serves the tzar but not the God

Therefore, this seemingly offensive act can be viewed as legitimate from the religious point of view. Why? Pussy Riot represent the people who do not accept the usurper president and ask for the Holy Mother’s protection.

They had no intention to offend the Almighty or the Christian believers with their actions, because the church is a. for people and b. is just a ritual intermediate place between the God and the people. This intermediate has no power to punish people in religious terms, nor the state has a legal power to punish these girls as they have not committed any crime: they haven’t damaged any property or abused someone else’s faith. And remember, Russia is a secular state. So far.

All Pussy Riot have done was the public ridicule of the ruler they dislike and the church administration (Patriarch Kirill) they distrust.

Of course, this was the biggest blow  to the Kremlin reputation of having a total control over Russian society. That’s why the girls are being punished. The trial is preposterous in my opinion. The girls’ lawyer said: ”This is one of the most shameful trials in modern Russia. In Soviet times, at least they followed some sort of procedure”.

This reminds me of Europe in the medieval times and the witch hunt.

I think the officials are using this trial to distract the people’s attention from far more serious issues. If it’s true – it wasn’t the best idea. The Russian society is now divided over Pussy Riot. This is not the way to ease off the political tension and the protest movement.

What do you think? Should the girls be punished or forgiven and why?

Here’s the prayer by Pussy Riot and the English translation of it.

And finally just one more thing.

Everyone is doing giveaways nowadays. I have been running mine for awhile and now it’s time to announce the winners of the final two weeks:  Alastair Rosie and Ashen Venema.  Each of you will be getting a book written by a modern Russian author (I won’t tell you the names now to keep it a surprise, but both writers have quite a scandalous reputation). Congratulations, my friends! I’ll contact you later with the details. And thank you everyone for participating.

In addition,  dear friends please remember that every e-mail subscriber to this blog will receive a free copy of my e-book called Usher Syndrome. To subscribe, just submit your e-mail address in the right upper corner of the post page (the top of sidebar).

 

 

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  • http://twitter.com/LaraBnovelist Lara Biyuts

    I never cared for P.R. or their deeds, but after the sentence to them had been pronounced, I Liked their Facebook page. Because it looked like R.O.C. influenced upon the verdict. The church is separated from the state, and this must be in fact. Besides, the months of imprisonment is more than enough as a punishment for the mere disorderly conduct. I don’t know how many the months, but the very thought of the while makes my shudder. “Green Tea For Ever”

    • GrigoryRyzhakov

      agree , Lara, they served half-a-year already before the verdict was announced, it’s too harsh. It’d be okay, if the legal side wasn’t so badly violated. If the system is strict, it should be universally strict: when a priest hits people on a car killing them and then is released and not prosecuted, – such a judicial system is wrong.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bijucie.lara Larisa Biyuts

        absolutly agree. The case of the priest-drunkard is the next display of something from ROC or those who want it to share the state power. For my part, it’s just some thoughts of the current news. Born Russian Orthodox, I reckon myself a pagan, since recently, but I am a monotheist at heart, and I always beleived that salvation of Russia is in its national religion and not some religious cults/sects. And the church should stay separated from the state or it should be openly declared as a co-ruler.