Conflict & Justice

Mixed Feelings in Russia Over Pussy Riot Trial

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"Pussy Riot" in court in Moscow on Friday. (Photo: REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

The Pussy Riot trial has sparked an international outcry.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the audio to hear it.)

Three members of the feminist punk band were convicted Friday for "committing hooliganism motivated by religious hatred."

Many in the West say it shows the lack of freedom of speech under President Vladimir Putin.

But many Russians have mixed feelings about the case.

Natalia Antonova, playwright and deputy editor of the Moscow News, says many Russians were hurt and offended by the band's illicit performance of a punk prayer in a famous Moscow cathedral.

Not many Russians are regular church-goers, says Antonova, but most Russians retain a symbolic attachment to the church.

Nevertheless Antonova agrees this could be a significant turning point for Russia, and many artists will start to worry about what they can and can't do in future, without paying a very high price.

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