Putin on Pussy Riot verdict: "they got what they wanted"
8.10.12 10:13 By News Dept.
Putin thinks the verdict to Pussy Riot is just Photo: ITAR-TASS
President Vladimir Putin turned 60 on Sunday and, in a special TV program devoted this celebration, he spoke out about the verdict against the Pussy Riot punk band.
Putin said that he thinks the sentence given to the three Pussy Riot members is just. In August 2012 they were sentenced to 2.5 years in penal colony after being found guilty of hooliganism on the basis of religious hatred.
Putin said that the punk-prayer, performed in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February 2012, was not aimed at him, who was then a candidate for the presidential post.
"According to a special tactics, they fabricated a story that they committed their acts to protest against me, but in reality they did not shout out any such slogans there in the Cathedral. That means that they wanted either to attract attention, or to create a self-defense escape to say that they are not hooligans but politcal protesters," Putin said in the TV Program "NTVshniki" aired on the state-run TV channel NTV.
"I think that it is good that they were arrested and convicted. Because we must not undermined the basic principles of morality in our country," Putin added.
"I have nothing to do with the verdict," the president added. "They received what they wanted."
This is the first time Vladimir Putin has commented on the verdict to the Pussy Riot members. In September, however, he said that the authorities should have looked into the Pussy Riot activity much earlier.
During the TV program Putin also said that he thinks he has the support of the majority of Russians.
"Of course there are people who do not agree with certain things, and they have their right to do so in a legitimate way." But the majority of Russia's population still support Putin.
He added that he does not watch his popularity rating that much.
"Of course I am given some papers with my ratings, but I do not pay much attention to them. The most important thing is that I feel that I do things in the correct way. And I see the way people react, not only people I know, but the Russians people in general," Putin concluded.
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