It has been two decades since the collapse of the Soviet empire but Russia still has political prisoners.
The names of the latest three are Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevitch, members of the feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot. Their crime? Singing a punk rock anti-Putin song in an orthodox church. This earned them a two-year sentence for “crudely undermining the social order”.
Needless to say, I am thoroughly disgusted by this deplorable show trial. But I am also left wondering: is Mr. Putin’s regime really so insecure that they feel threatened by these young women? (The irony, of course, is the the decision to jail them and put them on trial probably harmed Mr. Putin’s regime a great deal more than their songs ever could. But then again, according to statistics quoted by Wikipedia, most Russians seem to think that the trial was fair and impartial. So perhaps Putin’s thugs know what they are doing.)