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You're reading: Ukraine nationalist leader chides Pussy Riot’s ‘blasphemy’

The leader of a Ukrainian nationalist party has chided three convicted members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot for "blasphemy" and said activists from Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN had shown an "inappropriate" form of protest at the conviction by cutting down a memorial cross in the center of Kyiv.

“Being young doesn’t give them the right to blaspheme,” Svoboda
leader Oleh Tiahnybok said during debates with students in Kyiv. “I’m a
Christian. I get offended by things like that.”

“Our girls [from FEMEN] used an inappropriate form of support for [Pussy Riot] by cutting down the cross,” he said.

Tiahnybok said the Pussy Riot court case is an internal matter of Russia.

The three Pussy Riot musicians have been sentenced to two years in
jail on “hooliganism” charges for a scandalous 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.

On August 17, the day the sentence was passed, FEMEN activists, using
a chainsaw, took down the cross standing near the International Center
for Culture and Arts (Zhovtnevy Palace). Ukrainian police qualified this
as an act of “hooliganism,” but no one has been arrested yet.

On August 18, activists from various opposition groups and
nongovernmental organizations replaced the vandalized cross with a
provisional one.

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