FEMEN saws down cross for Stalin victims
The cross was erected on the hill overlooking Independence Square to honour the victims of Stalinist purges, who were tortured and killed in what is now Oktyabrsky Palace.
In the Soviet times, the Oktyabrsky Palace, which is now housing the International Culture and Arts Center, used to serve as headquarters of NKVD, a notorious secret police organization.
Today 3 p.m. Moscow time, the three girls: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina charged with hooliganism for their punk-prayer in Russia's main cathedral will know the verdict. Follow Pussy Riot trial updates from our correspondent.
Supporters of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina plan to hold a peaceful rally near Moscow Khamovnichesky Court Friday before a verdict is delivered.
In late February, four girls performed the so-called “punk prayer” on the altar of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Some of their supporters call this profanity a “performance”. The three girls were detained and charged with hooliganism. The trial triggered a lot of fuss in the country and abroad.
The girls saw support of a number of Western celebrities, like Madonna, Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More, Anti-Flag, Franz Ferdinand, Stephen Frey and Yoko Ono while some Russian stars condemned the girls and say they deserve punishment.