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By Thomas Grove
MOSCOW, July 11 A Russian Orthodox youth group
unveiled a video game on Thursday that gives players a chance to
"kill" members of the punk band Pussy Riot, whose
profanity-laden protest in a Moscow cathedral last year angered
the church and offended some believers.
Two women from Pussy Riot are serving two-year jail
sentences for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for the
"punk protest", which the head of the Russian Orthodox Church
has called part of a campaign to curb its post-Soviet revival.
"You have to kill them with a cross before they get into the
church, That's the point," said Boris Yakemenko, who organised a
Russian Orthodox youth festival in central Moscow where the
video game was on display.
"It's revolting," Dmitry Litvinov, 22, said of the game as
he got up from the table where it was displayed on a flat-screen
A legal representative of Pussy Riot declined to comment on
the video game. Neither members of the band nor Russian Orthodox
Church officials could immediately be reached for comment.
Players use a mouse to move a cross over the screen and zap
colourful cartoon representations of the women from Pussy Riot -
each with a balaclava like those worn by the band members in
their protest - as they try to enter a white church.
When one of the brightly coloured guitar-wielding band
members gets there, a little red devil dances across the screen.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, Maria Alyokhina, 25, and
Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, were sentenced to two years in
prison last August for bursting into Christ the Saviour
Cathedral and belting out a song calling for the Virgin Mary to
rid Russia of Vladimir Putin.
Samutsevich was freed on appeal.
Maria Voskresenskaya, who drew the cartoon figures for the
game, suggested the members of Pussy Riot had opened themselves
up to such treatment through their actions.
"We have problems in the church, we don't deny it, but that
doesn't justify the actions of those girls - they made a
mistake," said Voskresenskaya, 24.
She declined to say who came up with the idea for the game,
which she said took two weeks to create.
(Editing by Steve Gutterman and Michael Roddy)