by Madeleine Kruhly
July 24, 2012
As Anya Schmemann, a long time Russia observer at the Council of Foreign Relations, put it, "The harshness of [Pussy Riot's] incarceration has turned a spotlight on the limits of free expression and revealed a deep polarization between 'old' and 'new' Russia."
But could the return of "hooliganism" really be a sort of echo of last century's backlash against the charge's abuse? Sophia Kishkovsky, a Moscow-based writers for the International Herald Tribune from Moscow pointed out to me, "There are a significant number of people within the church, or at least a prominent and vocal group of intellectuals, and even some clergy, who, even if they are disturbed by the form of Pussy Riot's protest, are even more disturbed by the measures being taken against them."