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Poll: Third of Russins call Pussy Riot sentence adequate, third says it's too severe

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Aug. 30, 2012, 5:15 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of female Russian punk band Pussy Riot, shows her hand cuffs inside a defendants cage in a Moscow court, on July 4, 2012, during the hearings on the Pussy Riot case.
© AFP

MOSCOW - 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.

Thirty-three percent 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.

Thirty-one percent 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%). Three percent said the singers were sentenced to three years, and 2% said a suspended sentence was passed.

Thirty-three percent said that the sentence was too severe, and 31% argued that the sentence corresponded to the offense. Fifteen percent 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.

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Eugene Al Gagins Sept. 10, 2012, 12:01 a.m.    

Russian "leadership" continues to torture millions of my Russian brothers and sisters. Very sad. Gloomy years of Russian history.

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