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MOSCOW, August 6 (Itar-Tass) — The so-called “punk prayer” of the Pussy Riot punk group was aimed at criticizing the authorities and the Church and was not aimed at insulting the religious feelings of Christians, Maria Alyokhina, one of the female participants of the punk group accused of hooliganism, said on Monday.
“We criticize the authorities and the church leadership as well as the leadership of the secret services,” she said. Alyokhina explained the meaning of some lines of the song calling on the Virgin Mary to “throw Putin out’. She said they were meant to peacefully protest against the present-day political situation in the country. “All our actions were only politically motivated,” the defendant said. “Our thoughts were and remain pure, we have no hatred and have never had it,” she added.
Earlier Yekaterina Samutsevich was questioned. Both young women said they had not participated in making a video clip or spreading it through the Internet. Samutsevich acknowledged her participation in the action, but said she was not guilty of hooliganism for motives of religious hate.
According to her, the band was created as a sign of protest after Vladimir Putin had announced his intentions to run for president at the March 2012 election. The band burst onto the scene this winter with angry lyrics and surprise performances, including one on Moscow’s Red Square.
“The idea to sing at the Christ the Savior Cathedral came after we had heard the patriarch urging the believers to vote for Putin,” she said. She noted that the timing was chosen so that not to interfere with any church services or other church-offices. She stressed that neither she nor her friends wanted to desecrate the church by being on the altar, and they did not know at all that they performed at the forbidden site.
She added that as no one had reprimanded the girls for their looks or the actions they thought that nobody was against their performance.
The accused girl explained that bright balaclavas on their heads were put on not to hide their faces but to symbolize the image of an anti-fascist hero.