01:34 GMT +3 hours29 November 2014
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Russia

Cross Cutting Continues in Russia

Russia
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A wooden Orthodox Christian cross has been chopped down in the Altai region of Siberia, police said.

A wooden Orthodox Christian cross has been chopped down in the Altai region of Siberia, police said.

It is not clear when exactly the crucifix in the village of Topuchaya was destroyed, however the region's police press service said it could have happened Monday evening or the early hours of Tuesday.

No further details were available.

The incident comes some two weeks after four crosses were cut down in Russia's regions by a group who said the act was "revenge" for a two-year jail sentence handed out to three members of the all-female anti-Putin band Pussy Riot, in a case which divided Russian society and sparked a wave of protest actions in support of the group.

Activists from the Ukrainian feminist group Femen cut down a wooden crucifix with a chainsaw in the center of the country's capital, Kiev, in mid-August in support of the Pussy Riot trio.

The band members were jailed after a protest at Moscow’s largest cathedral over Orthodox Church support for Putin ahead of the March presidential polls that returned the former KGB officer to the Kremlin for a third term.

A senior Moscow priest, Dmitry Smirnov, said the cross attacks amounted to a declaration of war against the Orthodox Church.