Three women from Russian punk band ##### Riot were sentenced to two years in jail on Friday for their protest against President Vladimir Putin in a church, an outcome supporters described as the Kremlin leader’s “personal revenge”.
The band’s supporters burst into chants of “Shame” outside the Moscow courthouse and said the case showed Putin’s refusal to tolerate dissent. The U.S. embassy in Moscow said the sentence appeared disproportionate to what the defendants did.
Putin has turned that country (back) to quite the authoritarian regime. I know some Russians long for the days where they had more stability (albeit long lines for basic necessities), and Putin has quite the personality cult but I don't know why they don't stand up against him. It is sad.
I spoke to a few people in Russia (cab drivers mostly) and they generally agreed that Putin is better than the alternative. They didn't like everything about him but also didn't trust the opposition. They also generally agreed that most of the older generation really like Putin as well as those in smaller cities.
I was there in January before the elections and there were some protests in Moscow, but people referred to it as the iPod protest because most of the people protesting were students with Apple products.
A group of Russian anti-gay activists sued American pop star Madonna for $10 million on Friday, saying she had insulted their feelings when she spoke out for gay rights at a concert in St Petersburg last week.
Performing in black lingerie with the words “No Fear“ scrawled on her back, Madonna attacked a city law adopted in March that imposed fines for spreading homosexual “propaganda”. She had earlier called the law a “ridiculous atrocity”.
Homosexuality, punished with jail terms in the Soviet Union, was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, but much of the gay community remains underground as prejudice runs deep.
I wish the heck I could like fish, I just hate the taste of it . . . I wish I could eat one, they look so good . . . - Gil Fisher (The Fishin' Musician):