Madonna knew her visit to Moscow this week would be controversial.
But what added to the star’s already-controversial performance was the arrest of three Russian “punk rockers,” better known as the band Pussy Riot.
“Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, stormed the altar of Russia's main cathedral on February 21 and sang a 'punk prayer' calling on the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin,” said Reuters, “Who was then campaigning to return to the presidency after four years as Prime Minister.”
The prosecutors in the case are looking for a three-year jail term for the three women.
This week, during Madonna’s concert in the city, she called for the release of the three women, leading to a response from one of Russia’s top politicians.
According to Reuters, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin posted a tweet in English on his Twitter page, saying, “Every ex-wh*re tends to lecture everybody with age. Especially during world tours and concerts."
At Madonna’s concert, she said the women in Pussy Riot were “courageous.” When she made the comment, the crowd cheered.
Pussy Riot said that they did not necessarily mean the performance to be anti-religion, but more as a commentary on their country and its politics.
“The women have said the performance was meant as criticism of close ties between Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church and the clear if informal support its leader, Patriarch Kirill, gave Putin during his successful election campaign,” said Reuters.
Even though Rogozin did not mention Madonna by name, many knew right away who the post way about.
On Thursday night, Madonna performed in St. Petersburg and this time spoke out about gay rights.
Rogozin posted another tweet, again not mentioning Madonna, but leaving little doubt who he was speaking about. This tweet was posted in Russian.
"Either take off the cross or put on your panties," he said. Reuters confirmed with Rogozin’s spokeswoman that the messages were indeed sent from the politician.
Alyokhina,Tolokonnikova and Samutsevich are set to be sentenced on Aug. 17.
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