Pussy Riot defendants consider their performance an administrative offence

One of the defendants in the Pussy Riot case, Mariya Alyokhina, told the court she considers the punk prayer conducted by the band at Christ the Savior Cathedral an administrative offense.

"I consider our performance an administrative offense," Alyokhina's opinion on the indictment was read out by defense lawyer Violetta Volkova.

The case became criminal "in view of the influence of political, law enforcement and spiritual elites," the Pussy Riot member said. "I confirm once again that I have never had any religious hatred toward the Orthodox faith and believers," Alyokhina said. I disagree with the indictment, she said.

"The indictment says that I committed hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and animosity and hatred toward Orthodox believers. This assertion is fundamentally unclear to me," Alyokhina said in her statement. "The aim of our performance was to draw the attention of the Russian clergy and the leader of Christ the Savior Cathedral Patriarch Kirill. As representatives of our generation, we are bewildered by his actions and appeals. We wanted and we want a dialogue," Alyokhina said.

"The aim of attention-seeking was to appeal to Father Kirill, to his repeated public statements that the Orthodox believers must vote for Putin," she said. "I am an Orthodox believer but my political views are different and my question is what I should do. As a representative of my generation, I have other questions about the relations between the church and the state, to which I sincerely want to get answers from Father Kirill and count on his wisdom. I thought that the church loves its children, but it turns out that there is a division here, and the church only loves those children who believe in Putin," Alyokhina said in the statement.

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