A rock band (named Pussy Riot) that dared to play a song in a Russian cathedral, as a protest against Vladimir Putin and the close ties between the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox church, was sentenced yesterday to 2 additional years in prison for ‘hooliganism.’ The three band members have been in jail since their arrest in February.
This was, of course, not intended as a joke (hardassed reactions to protests by repressive governments never are), but how can one react to something like this other than joking derision. The defendants, it was reported by NBC News, “…reacted with giggles and one rolled her eyes when the judge issued the sentences after reading the guilty verdict for almost three hours.”
The bald truth is, Putin cannot, will not, tolerate dissent of any kind, not even a little performance by an all-girl punk band.
We all applauded the implosion of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the Communist bloc in Europe but are the Russian people any better off under the government of criminals, thugs and tyrants they have now? Are any of us?