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Vladimir Putin dashes hopes of an early jail release for Pussy Riot protesters

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Hopes of an early jail release for the Pussy Riot punk protesters dimmed last night after Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a scathing attack on the three women singers.

The three Pussy Riot members are to appeal their two years prison sentences for staging a cathedral stunt opposing the strongman leader.

Supporters of the women – who have called for a revolution against Vladimir Putin – fear his hardline stance will sway judges and rule out their punishments being reduced.

“First they went to the Yelokhovsky Cathedral and conducted an orgy there and then they went to the other cathedral and had another orgy,” Vladimir Putin said in a major TV interview.

“The state is obliged to protect the feelings of the faithful.”

Vladimir Putin dashes hopes for Pussy Riot release as he says faithful must be defended after two Cathedral orgies

Vladimir Putin dashes hopes for Pussy Riot release as he says faithful must be defended after two Cathedral orgies

The women were found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for dancing and singing in Christ the Saviour Cathedral.

He also chided the police for taking no action when one of the three – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22 – was involved in a sexually explicit protest four years ago in a biological museum.

“They had a group sex session in a public place. They then uploaded it onto the Internet. The authorities should have looked at this too,” he stressed.

Recalled a Soviet-era joke, he said: “Some fans say that group sex is better than one-on-one because – like in any collective work – you can take it easy a bit.”

But he stressed: “Uploading it onto the Internet is controversial and can be subject to legal proceedings.”

Vladimir Putin asked his interviewer if he knew what the band’s name meant.

“There is no need to pretend that you don’t know. It’s indecent,” he said.

He claimed the repression suffered by the church in Soviet times meant it had to be respected now.

But he denied behind the scenes pressure to send the women to jail, despite suspicions of this among the opposition and in the West.

“I know what is going on with Pussy Riot, but I am staying out of it completely,” he said.

Vladimir Putin also denied he was clamping down on protest, declaring: “What is <<tightening the screws>>? If this means the demand that everyone, including representatives of the opposition, obey the law, then yes, this demand will be consistently implemented.”


He also blasted Britain for “double standards” in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, alleging political interference in the attempt to extradite him to Sweden for sexual offences.

Julian Assange is holed up in the Ecuador embassy and has been granted political asylum by the South American country.

“They decided to extradite him. What is this? Of course it is double standards, that is clear,” he told Russia Today television.

“As far as I know, Ecuador asked Sweden for guarantees that Assange will not be extradited from Sweden to the United States. It has received no such guarantees.

“Of course this leads one to think that this is a political case.”

The decision made a mockery of Britain’s claim of judicial independence, he said.

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