Day of Reckoning

Two girls believed to be members of the dissident group Pussy Riot (they deny this) have been officially charged with the violation of public order. If found guilty, they can spend up to seven years in prison. Statistically - 98.5% of charged with crime are found guilty - they are doomed.

Earlier, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were arrested. They will stay behind bars until late April. Both have young children: Tolokonnikova has a four-year-old son and Alyokhina's daughter is five.

On 21st of February, Pussy Riot staged a guerrilla performance at Moscow's Christ the Saviour cathedral. Several girls ran to the altar and sang a kind of ‘punk prayer’ titled the Holy Shit accusing the Moscow Patriarchate in the over-involvement in politics and campaigning for Vladimir Putin in the upcoming presidential election.

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Department of Church and Society, has said that the Church will not give in to those who defend the girls or ask to release them from detention. Punishment, he said, should be severe enough so nothing like this would happen ever again.