2012-08-30 17:32:00

Russians differ over Pussy Riot sentence: third calls it adequate, third says it's too severe

Moscow, August 30, Interfax - A week after the conviction of Pussy Riot punk band members, 65% of Russians are aware of the sentence and opinions about it differ, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center told Interfax on Thursday.

33% know the singers were sentenced and 32% know what sentence the court passed, the sociologists said.

Respondents with higher education (40%) and people of pre-retirement age (36%) are best informed about the sentence.

31% learned about the Pussy Riot sentence from the sociologists, mostly young people (36-37%), people with secondary education (40-41%) and people who browse the Internet rarely or never (33-34%).

The overwhelming majority of respondents who were aware of the sentence said it was two years (91%). 3% said the singers were sentenced to three years, and 2% said a suspended sentence was passed.

33% said that the sentence was too severe, and 31% argued that the sentence corresponded to the offense. 15% said the sentence was too mild, and 10% said there was nothing to try the girls for at all. The opinion that the sentence was too severe was expressed mostly by respondents with higher education (39%), while people with secondary education said the ruling was fair (37%).

The center polled 1,600 people in 138 towns and cities in 46 regions of Russia on August 25-26.

The three Pussy Riot musicians have been sentenced to two years in jail on "hooliganism" charges for a song in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February - a "punk prayer" in which they asked the Virgin Mary to "throw out" Vladimir Putin, who was then prime minister and running for president.