2012-08-21 15:57:00

Okhlobystin on Pussy Riot: flog, drive away, forget

Moscow, August 21, Interfax - Actor Ivan Okhlobystin, who was once a priest and is now temporarily suspended from the priesthood, believes the Pussy Riot girls should have been flogged and driven away from the church.

"They should have been flogged and driven away. Street sweepers used to do that. They are hooligans. And forget about them," Okhlobystin told a press conference in the Interfax central office.

Commenting on the Pussy Riot sentence, Okhlobystin said: "If they had not smiled that way in court, I would say the sentence is too tough. However, the question arises why the authorities are working so badly, why they allowed that to happen. I would not have let that happen if I were them. I am for issuing the needed laws on time," he said.

Okhlobystin believes Pussy Riot has created a negative image of Russia abroad. "When it comes to Russia, Western people think of vodka, Gagarin, and Pussy Riot. Is that good? It's a shame," he said.

Okhlobystin also cautioned the people of Russia against excessive hatred toward each other and enmity based on political affiliations. "I have asked these girls' lawyers to let me meet with them. Maybe I would have talked with them and they would have come to reason. But now it's too late, societal tendencies are different," he said.