The indictment says that I committed disorderly conduct motivated by
religious hatred and enmity and by the hatred of Orthodox Christians. I
fundamentally don’t understand this statement. Our performance aimed to
attract the attention of the Russian clergy and the rector of Cathedral
of the Christ the Savior, patriarch Kirill. We are representatives of
our generation, and we are at a loss after his actions and appeals.
We wanted and want a dialogue. We know that there is no other way
to get an audience with any representative of the church authority
because of the security, who, ironically, are victims in our case. We
wanted to get f[ather] Kirill’s attention because we wanted to ask him
about his calls to vote for Vladimir Putin [during the presidential
election of 4 March 2012]. I am an Orthodox Christian, but I stick
to the other political views, and my question is: what should I do?
As a representative of my generation, I also have questions about
the relationship of the church and the state to f[ather] Kirill. I
sincerely would like to get answers to these questions from f[ather]
Kirill, relying on his wisdom. I thought that the Church loved its
children, but dual standards turned out to be present here as well:
the Church loves only those children who believe in Putin. I never
thought that the Russian Orthodox Church was to call for faith in any
president; I thought its role was to call for the faith in God.
It important for me to understand whether the Church is growing along
with the society or it remains a conservative institution. In the
search for an answer, I did not expect a repressive and inquisition-
like reaction. Therefore, I consider the prosecution claims of our
criminal motive unfounded. We did not have such motive. The rehearsal
recordings show that we aimed for a minute-and-a-half performance of
which we actually performed forty seconds.
To say that the forty-second performance undermined the centuries-old
foundations is absurd.
Further, the prosecution argues that we intentionally bought clothes
for this performance. The materials of our case directly refute this
point. Tights and dresses are a part of the Pussy Riot image, and the
balaclavas, named in the indictment “masks”, are not a disguise, but
a conceptual element of our image. Pussy Riot does not want to focus
attention on girl’s appearances, but creates characters who express
We chose the day of our performance purposefully. It was Maslenitsa,
the Butter Week, with its tradition of dressing up and dancing. We came
to the Cathedral outside of the hours of service or any celebratory
activities, which indicates that we did care about the church calendar.
The prosecution alleges that we violated the order based on our hatred
and enmity of religion and the hatred of the Orthodox Christians. I
think this is a fantasy, and I have already explained our motivation
above. In no way could I have imagined the scale of the reaction that
exists today. It was not me who organized the broadcasts on the federal
television channels, where we were labeled as sacrilege-makers and
provokers. It remains unclear to me why all this has happened and is
still happening. Moreover, I think it's the organizers of such TV
programs depreciate the Russian Orthodox tradition when they argue that
the three girls could do something to the spiritual foundation of the
state, even more so with the God; this is especially true because my
friends and I repeatedly tried to make piece between our supporters and
those who condemn us. If religious people are offended by the fact that
we climbed into the fenced pulpit, treating it like a stage, then for
that I apologize. We did it because we did not know the internal church
If our six-month imprisonment was required to explain these rules to us
in detailed, then I can confidently say we understood and learned them.
Everything I said above is an ideological question about the indictment
presented to me, the very statement of which I consider absurd
because I am a citizen of a secular state. All my deeds and misdeeds,
I believe, should be viewed in the legal realm. I consider our
performance an administrative offense, however it was transferred to
the legal realm due to the influence from administrative, political, or
religious elites. I ask an independent court to conduct an independent
investigation and establish the truth.
Once again, I claim that I never had any religious hatred of the