A member of the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot was freed on appeal last Wednesday, however, a Moscow court upheld prison sentences for two others imposed over a cathedral protest against Vladimir Putin, last summer.
Yekaterina Samutsevich walked free from Moscow City Court after six months in prison, however the appeal judge who suspended her two-year sentence said fellow band members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina should serve out their terms, according to Reuters.
In September, Russian prime minister Dimitri Medvedev said the young women deserve a second chance. Medvedev admitted that he did not approve of the lady’s performance of an anti-Kremlin number at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, at a recent meeting with officials from United Russia. However, he told the meeting that a two-year incarceration would be “unproductive,” according to a report in the New York Times. Medvedev seeks to rid his state of a case that has put the Kremlin in an increasingly negative light in the West.
Prime Minister Medvedev has garnered much support from liberal voters in his country, and protests erupted in Russia when he decided to step down so that Vladimir Putin could return as president. He has been careful with his liberal rhetoric not to disturb his colleague, Mr. Putin, observed an article in the Christian Science Monitor.
A documentary movie was aired in September on the state-run Rossiya-1 channel, claiming that The Pussy Riot’s performance and even existence is bankrolled by a political enemy of Mr. Putin: one Boris Berezovsky.
Putin said in August he did not believe the three band members should be “judged too severely for this.”
Symeon Loannovskij of the Russian Orthodox Church in America (which has had no affiliation with the Moscow Patriarchate since 1927) said “yes there is” another side to the story, when asked by Arutz Sheva whether the liberal media was giving the Kremlin an unfair rap over the situation. The Moscow Patriarchate was unavailable to give a statement.