August 9, 2012 17:31
Madonna dubbed 'moralising slut' by Russian politician for supporting Pussy Riot
Vice-Premiere for Defence Dmitry Rogozin says singer should "take off the cross or put on pants"
Dmitry Rogozin, the government's vice-premiere for defence, and former ambassador to Nato tweeted: "With age, every former s. tries to lecture everyone on morality. Especially during overseas tours". The 's' stands for the first letter of the Russian word for "slut" or "whore", The Guardian reports.
In response to a Twitter user who challenged his comments, he replied: "Either take off the cross or put on pants."
Madonna used the Moscow-leg of her 'MDNA' this week (August 12) to express support for the jailed members of Russian punk collective Pussy Riot, whose trial continued this week. In a speech to the 20,000 strong crowd, Madonna said: "I think they have paid the price for this act and I pray for their freedom," before stripping to her bra to reveal the words "Pussy Riot" written on her back. For 'Like A Virgin' she donned a balaclava similar to those worn by the Russian punk collective.
The case of the three detained members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot - Nadia Tolokonikovoy, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich - has been seen as a watermark in Vladimir Putin's attempts to crack down on dissent in Russia. The three women were arrested in March following an impromptu gig at Moscow's Christ The Saviour Cathedral in protest against the Orthodox Christian church's support for Russian president. They have been in detention ever since their arrest and are currently on trial for hooliganism charges. The prosecution has called for three years' imprisonment.
A host of artists including Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos, Jarvis Cocker, St Vincent, Kate Nash, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have lent their support.
Speaking on the final day of their nine-day trial yesterday, band member Nadia Tolokonikovoy said: "This is a trial of the whole government system of Russia, which so likes to show its harshness toward the individual, its indifference to his honour and dignity… If this political system throws itself against three girls… it shows this political system is afraid of truth."
Madonna is due to continue her Russian tour in Saint Petersburg on August 9, where she is widely expected to criticise anti-gay laws recently enforced in the city.
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