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Russia: Deputy PM slams Madonna on Twitter for Pussy Riot support

Dmitry Rogozin accused the singer of moral lecturing, adding: “Either take off the cross or put on pants”.

Madonna performs during her concert at Olympic Hall in Moscow, Russia, with the words
Madonna performs during her concert at Olympic Hall in Moscow, Russia, with the words "Pussy Riot" on her bare back
Image: Oleg Sharan/AP/Press Association Images

RUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME Minister Dmitry Rogozin has criticised Madonna on Twitter for her support of feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot.

Rogozin said the singer was guilty of moral lecturing, tweeting: “With age, every former s…. seeks to lecture everyone on morality. Especially during tours and gigs abroad” – using the first letter of the Russian term for ‘slut’ or ‘whore’, the Guardian reports.

He then tweeted: “Either take off the cross or put on pants”.

The US singer had written the words Pussy Riot across her back when she performed in Moscow on Tuesday. She has called for the release of the band’s three members – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich – who are facing jail sentences for singing an anti-Putin song in a Moscow cathedral.

Yesterday, the lead singer of the band compared the group’s trial to Stalin-era repression in a dramatic final statement before the verdict is delivered later this month.

Prosecutors calling for the three punk rockers to recieve three years in prison on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for bursting into Moscow’s biggest church on February 21 and singing a “punk prayer” against Putin.

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The case has drawn sharp criticism from across the international community, with Amnesty International launching a petition calling for their release on the grounds that freedom of expression is a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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