30 July 2012, 18:45
Orthodox activists reject Pussy Riot artist's apologies
Moscow, July 30, Interfax - Russian Orthodox Christian activists vehemently rejected apologies from one of the three members of the Pussy Riot feminist punk rock band who are on trial for a performance inside Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February that was part of a protest movement against Vladimir Putin, then a candidate for president.
In a statement in Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court on Monday, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova described the performance as "an ethical mistake" and said the three young women had had no intention to insult the Orthodox.
"The so-called apologies are nothing else than a sophisticated form of hypocrisy," Valentin Lebedev, head of the Union of Orthodox Citizens, told Interfax-Religion.
The three artists, who have been in jail since March, "have still not apologized to the Holy Patriarch Kirill or to the Russian head of state, Vladimir Putin, for their monstrously offensive expressions with the use of holy texts and prayers mixed with swearwords," Lebedev said.
The head of the Association of Orthodox Experts, Kirill Frolov, described Tolokonnikova's statement as "a typical attempt to dodge accountability and defend an act whose true purpose was to blaspheme the mentality of our people, to deprive them of their sacred values."
A people for whom nothing is sacred "won't rise to the defense of their country," he added.
Frolov said the three performers had become "the banner of those forces that are fighting the Patriarch and the president and are against the social partnership of Church, society and state."