THE PUSSY RIOT AFFAIR

Discussion in 'Russian Society' started by Alexander Mercouris, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Alexander Mercouris

    Alexander Mercouris Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Right in the middle of the Pussy Riot trial in August 2012 I wrote an essay for my blog.

    http://mercouris.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/pussy-riot-2/

    When I wrote the essay I relied on a translation of earlier version of the Russian Article under which they were tried then the one that was actually in force at the time of their trial. I don't think that had any bearing on the underlying argument in the essay. In every other respect I think this essay has stood up well. In particular I harshly criticised Pussy Riot's legal team, who I held chiefly responsible for the whole debacle of their trial and sentence.

    I bring this all up now because as I anticipated in a comment I posted on the comments thread of the article, Pussy Riot have themselves come to the same view and have seriously fallen out with their lawyers. The latest information on that front is that Samutsevitch is suing Volkova in defamation because Volkova accused Samutsevitch of supposedly "betraying" the others by admitting that a crime had been committed during her appeal.

    I would make three points:

    1.Though I totally agree with Samutsevitch that Volkova and Feigin are dreadful lawyers who grossly mismanaged Pussy Riot's case (I said as much in my essay) I don't think there is any value at all in this defamation case. I would add that this resort to the Courts seems to me inconsistent with Pussy Riot's ideology as I understand it, which is to engage in exclusively illegal protests and to reject legality.

    2. The real tragedy for me about this case is that it is clear from the accounts Samutsevitch and the other two defendants have given that the prosecutors offered a plea bargain shortly after all three were arrested. Had that offer been accepted (and the lawyers owed it to their clients to make sure that it was accepted) all three would now be free. I don't think any principle would have been compromised by accepting a plea bargain. It would have involved admitting guilt to a crime in return for a lesser sentence (possibly even a non custodial sentence) but since Pussy Riot's entire ideology is to undertake illegal protests what would have been compromising about that?

    3. What however is truly astounding (and what has provoked me to make this comment now) is the failure of the western media to report this quarrel between Pussy Riot or at least Samutsevitch and the lawyers. The western media gave the case saturation coverage and represented Pussy Riot's trial as a politically motivated show trial brought by "Putin" to crush dissent. Amnesty International have even declared Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina "prisoners of conscience". Surely the fact that Pussy Riot are now at least in part blaming their own lawyers for the debacle shows that the truth was, shall we say, more complicated than that? Given that that is so and given how the Pussy Riot trial was reported at the time by the media in the west surely the western media ought to at least report this quarrel?

    I would merely add that though I do not speak Russian and live far away in London the utter incompetence of the lawyers and their primary responsibility for the catastrophic mismanagement of the case and for Tolokonnikova's and Alyokhina's two year prison sentence was blindingly obvious to me both during the pre trial proceedings and at the trial itself as my essay shows. How could the army of western journalists in Moscow who presumably speak Russian and who have access to legal advice have missed it?
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  2. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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  3. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    @Alexander Mercouris

    Uh-oh Volkova doesn't like your article. She says it's "shit."

    Виолетта Волкова ‏@volkova_v
    @akarlin88 @mark_feygin Про @Moscow_advokat опять забылиА учитывая тенденцию джинсовых СМИ делать слив по мне и Марку, статья то же г-но.))

    They forgot about Polozov again. And bearing in mind the tendency of gutter media to pour dirt on me and Mark, the article is also shit.))
    Alexander Mercouris likes this.
  4. Violetta Volkova

    Violetta Volkova Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

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    Your post is drivel )))
  5. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

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    Is that a legal opinion?
  6. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    Charlie Gilmour, the son of a rock star, was jailed for 18 months in the UK for desecrating the cenotaph (the national memorial to the dead of the world wars). This was spontaneous. Pussy Riot's escapade was a deliberate step in an escalating campaign. Their sentences were light.
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  7. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

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    Their sentences could have been lighter yet had their counsel refrained from grandstanding stunts such as insisting the judge recuse herself and calling the President of the Russian Federation as a witness.
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  8. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Yes, I too have been thinking about that. And if I am not mistaken, in its wisdom the PR defence counsel also demanded that the Moscow Patriarch be called as a witness.

    I wonder what the judge's reaction would be if, after a PR type "event" having taken place in Westminster Abbey, London and the "artists" of such an event were on trial for public order offences and inciting religious hatred, the counsel for the defence demanded that the British head of state (who is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England) and the principle leader of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, appear in court as witnesses?

    No doubt Volkova & Co. would argue that comparisons of a theoretical British court reaction with that of the Russian court reaction to the PR defence demand that the Russian head of state and the Moscow Patriarch appear as witnesses is an invalid one as like with like are not being compared; that British courts are "real" ones, whereas Russian courts are shams.

    True, the Russian head of state is an executive one with considerable political power, unlike the British head of state: Putin, however, unlike HRH Queen Elizabeth II, is not Supreme Leader of the Russian Eastern Orthodox Church.

    More importantly, however, is that contempt of court in the UK is treated as a very serious offence and punished accordingly; whereas in Russian courts, open contempt of procedure, of the judge's competence and of the judgement seems to be par for course, not to mention the sending and receiving of SMS messages and social networking undertaken by the accused and the wearing of inappropriate dress in court, such as T-shirts bearing slanderous statements.
  9. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Lest the world forget her fate, once again Tolokonnikova has announced that as of today, 23rd September, she is going on hunger strike, reports Moskovsky Komsomolets in: Толоконникова объявила голодовку в связи с угрозами убийством.

    Part translation:

    Tolokonnikova announces hunger strike because of death threats.

    Pussy Riot member demands guarantee of protection.

    According to the young woman, during a personal audience with Yuri Kupriyanov, the deputy chief of the Mordovia colony, in which they discussed her appeal to the competent authorities with a request to check the activities of the administration of colony IR -14, the official said to her, “It will certainly not always be bad for you, because in the next world there is no badness.”

    Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has complained about the encouragement by the IR -14 administration of the punishment of other prisoners by trustee convicts. “The regime in the colony really is arranged to suppress human will by means of trustee convicts that have been given posts as bosses and team leaders and who, on receiving orders from their superiors, through their bullying transform a human being into a dumb slave”, she said in her statement that is at the disposal of “Lenta.ru “. The statement is addressed to the FPS Russia Director Gennady Kornienko; to the head of the RF IC investigation department for Mordovia, Mikhail Nazarov; to the prosecutor of the republic, Valery Machinsky; and to the ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin .

    According to a the Pussy Riot member’s announcement, her hunger strike starts on September 23 and will also be associated with numerous violations in the colony, in particular that the working day spent sewing together police uniforms consists of 16-17 hours, with performance standards that are constantly increasing, and that convicts are punished by trustees by the deprivation of their right to visit the toilet or to eat their own food bought by themselves. (That which the prison feeds them with, she says, is of exceptionally poor quality) . Tolokonnikova’s salary for June was 23 rubles.

    “Therefore, from September 23, I declare a hunger strike and refuse to participate in a slave labour camp until the colony authorities begin to follow the law and treat women prisoners accordingly and not cast them beyond the limits of legality, using them as though they were livestock to produce garments, but treating them as people”, she has declared. She has also demanded guaranteed protection. In order that her hunger strike stop, the activist demands that she be transferred to another colony where she will not be employed in a sewing shop but in another activity, and that the working conditions in the garment shop conform to the Labour Code norms.


    End

    Her dainty little hands must be getting quite hard now.

    Does she want to do her porridge in a luxury hotel?

    As far as the death threat is concerned, I presume that is what the spoilt bourgeois anarchist considers the words spoken by the colony director were, whereas I should simply think he was a devout believer who thinks that there is happiness and goodness in “the next world” for those who repent – even for that debauched “freedom fighter” Tolokonnikova.

    :)
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  10. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    23 Roubles suggests that she didn't do much. Actual work must be such a shock to the system but he's keeping up the PR campaign. There's a TV show coming.
  11. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Unsurprisingly, the Guardian and Guardianistas go into overdrive today concerning Tolokonnikova: “Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova: Why I have gone on hunger strike”

    One Guardianista suggests that protests be made against the prison conditions that Tolokonnikova apparently has to endure, suggesting that protesters stand outside the Russian Embassy, London, shouting: “Putin – pizda!”

    While they’re at it, how about shouting out “Long Live Pizda Riot”?

    Note the beatific image of Tolokonnikova in the photo above the article.

    Perhaps [WARNING! SEXUALLY GRAPHIC IMAGE] this image would have been be more appropriate as regards her character? {AK: Yikes! Put a NSFW warning here}

    For more artistic shots of the debauchee and her pals, see: [WARNING! SEXUALLY GRAPHIC IMAGES] Sex Orgy in a Museum.

    By the way, one commentator asks an interesting question: How did she manage to write such a letter, get it out of prison and have it published?

    It would be impossible to do that in the UK. Prison letters there are meticulously censored and no description of prison conditions, other prisoners or their crimes is allowed.

    It seems that is not the case in the Evil Empire, where there is, allegedly, no freedom of speech whatsoever. Khodorkovsky, for example, seems not only to write regularly in his “gulag” large articles for various journals, but also to hold interviews there with journalists from all over the world.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  12. Kolokol

    Kolokol Office Registrar (13th class)

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    Is her account true?
  13. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    She says it is.

    And where does this information that Tolokonnikova is spreading come from?

    Who has told her that the screws are pocketing the cash apportioned for the purchase of new equipment?

    One of the screws who empathizes with the “feminist punk-rocker”?

    One of the cons?

    The irony of this is that she presumably wishes that this allegation of corruption be investigated and, if proven true, that the persons involved be charged, put on trial and, hopefully, convicted. But by whom? By that very same legal system that she and her counsel Volkova and Feigin ridiculed as being incompetent, illegal, a sham; in which the implementation of the “law”, as it is in Russia, is entirely determined by the Evil One, who issues direct orders to public prosecutors concerning whom to charge and to judges concerning whom to convict and whose direct orders determine the degree of punishment to be apportioned to his “victims”?

    That’s what Pete the Pedo* Verzilov says happens in Russia, so it must be true:



    Here's some more bullshit off Porky Pete*:



    And this freak gets paid for shooting such shit.

    And suckers believe what he says:

    “A small revolution in Russia has started unfolding…levels of unseen brutality in Russia…now what we have is hundreds of thousands of people out on the streets in Moscow, kind of doing maneouvres against the police and trying to figure out how they can effectively resist the system…I’d like to represent the Voina group which I am a founding member…”

    And on and on and on…

    But no matter what Pete says about his and his wife's artistic talents and his being a founding member of Voina, Voina certainly does not rate Pete’s “artistic” talents, nor those of his wife either.

    See: Russian philosopher & cultural expert Vadim Rudnev probes Voina Group.


    Anyway, news is just out that St. Nadezhda of the Gulag has been put in solitary.

    That certainly would have happened if she were in British prison and had smuggled out such a letter and had it published, albeit that the prison authorities maintain that she is in solitary for her own protection.

    There are also reports, which I think have been played down in the West, that Verzilov and Tolokonnikova’s lawyer have been threatening that if her conditions of imprisonment were not made easier, then they would publish allegations that the prison governor had been threatening the feminist punk-rocker freedom fighter.

    Another thing that I find strange: there have been no reasons given as to why there is such alleged malevolence orchestrated against her by some of her prison inmates, which alleged threats, I should imagine, would be barely comprehensible to devotees of PR and all they stand for. I mean, who could ever hate such a noble, angelic, idealistic, morally impeccable, maternal, intelligent, beautiful, understanding, artistic, musically talented, philosophical and philanthropic human being?

    I mean – really?

    See: Hunger Striking Pussy Riot Member Moved to Separate Cell.

    * That's what some call him in the Russian blogosphere.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  14. Kolokol

    Kolokol Office Registrar (13th class)

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    That's precisely the problem; that she says it's true.
    Peter hasn't featured the chicken incident in his Oslo presentation.
  15. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Осторожно, правильный смысл!

    "Because no such letter was written by Tolokonnikova - her husband Peter has always been the one that has had a lot to say and has answered all the questions. Basically, Nadezhda's 2-years inside can also be considered a credit to him: only he could come up with such a warped idea of sending his wife for a long stay in Mordovia, and then, for months, taking all the profits from this event as the unfortunate husband of a victim of the regime...

    "If you dig deeper, it's safe to say that the group Pussy Riot is just a few politicized and aggressive idiots caught in a tough situation by another idiot who considers himself an artist. It is noteworthy that the trick did not work as it should have done: Putin is not gone; people dancing in the cathedral were not appreciated...

    "
    At this point , all the Pussy Riot so-called 'protest art'activities have developed into business pure and simple: his wife is sitting in gaol and her husband goes around the country and the world with their child, presenting themselves as victims of the regime and begging for grants off kindhearted foreigners.

    Tolokonnikova has only 5 months left to serve. When Pussy Riot are released, attention to them will immediately disappear. They do not do anything. The level of protest activity in Moscow has decreased. The usual activities of either Tolokonnikova or Verzilov are not being taken up. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare the sleigh for summer [idiom: make do with what one has at hand now - ME], namely Pete with Nadia are trying to create hype in the press, this time tagging themselves on to a fight for the rights of women prisoners. Apparently, this gives them a chance to grab some dosh from abroad."
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  16. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    An Edinburgh man just got 10 months jail for throwing bacon into an empty Mosque. First offence.
  17. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    Are you serious?

    Just checked: you are.

    And I also found this:

    Churchgoer who dumped bacon outside a mosque is jailed for race hate crimes

    Yet a favourite line of Russia bashers in the West is the criticism of the severity of the Pizda Riot sentence and the malicious influence of the church in Russia together with ridicule of the prosecution argument in the PR trial that the defendants were guilty of a crime of religious hatred. According to Western journalists, the defence of religious beliefs and sensitivities associated with them and punishing those that insult believers is so "mediaeval", Russia having a "mediaeval" way of thinking being a common meme amongst Western hacks..

    I wonder why the above linked Daily Mail article describes the dumping of bacon outside a mosque as a "race hate" crime?

    Surely Islam is not a "race" but a religion?
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  18. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    It's kind of funny. Russia gets slammed for defending its traditional faith, while Western countries defend the faiths of immigrants many of whom would far sooner stone the likes of Pussy Riot than praise them.
    Carlo and Alexander Mercouris like this.
  19. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    Well, the police wouldn't even remove a party of drunks that broke into a Baptist Chapel near Tonypandy recently. British working class religion comes bottom of the totem pole. (for non Brits - Baptists are generally strong tetotallers).
  20. Moscow Exile

    Moscow Exile Ship Secretary (11th class)

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    More on the Pizda Riot story: Pussy Riot member moved to prison hospital after launching hunger strike

    Verzilov straight in with the claim that they’ve only transferred her to the hospital so as to block access to her.

    I thought that the noble Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina had written and signed a letter in which they had cast Porky Pete asunder as regards anything to do with the actions of the so-called feminist punk-rock artistic collective, yet he’s always there, buzzing around them like a fly around a turd.

    Note how the cruelly oppressed Tolokonnikova has the right to an unlimited number of phone calls.

    One comment to the above RT linked article raised a chuckle, though, from my hard-hearted breast:

    “First real job and she is complaining…”

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