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For Some, Pussy Riot Trial Is Just a Game

Angry KremlinsA screenshot from "Angry Kremlins," in which users catapult authorities at Pussy Riot figures shielded by glass panes and stone slabs.

The Foreign Ministry is apparently taking seriously criticism from abroad of the trial of punk band Pussy Riot, calling Western condemnation biased and driven by an anti-Russian agenda.

But for some, the case is just a game.

A group of Estonian programmers has launched an imitation of the hit game "Angry Birds" called "Angry Kremlins" that pokes fun at Russian authorities for their prosecution of Pussy Riot.

The aim of the game is to stop the female punk rockers from "rioting," the game's website says, by catapulting the heads of Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill and President Vladimir Putin at masked Pussy Riot figures. Kirill and Putin are widely viewed as being behind the rockers' prosecution.

In an amusing touch, the authorities' heads wince and groan as their heads smash against obstacles including stone pillars and panes of glass.

The one-level game became a Web sensation among Twitter users after opposition figure Ilya Yashin posted a  link to it on his microblog late Wednesday.

Last week, three Pussy Riot members — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30 — were sentenced to two years in prison for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for an unsanctioned performance in Christ the Savior Cathedral. In their "punk prayer," the women called on the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin and condemned Patriarch Kirill for openly supporting Putin's presidential bid.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has denounced criticism from abroad of the trial, prompting a lawyer for the women to warn the ministry not to risk damaging Russia's reputation further.

In a statement Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the court that ruled in the Pussy Riot case thoroughly examined all the facts and acted within the law.

During the trial, the defendants and their lawyers repeatedly cited violations of their rights.

Lukashevich said a person's freedom of expression must not violate other people's rights and freedoms, and he cited international civil and human rights doctrines that he said supported this stance.

He also said international discontent over the trial was skewed and driven by an anti-Russian political agenda. The foreign reaction to the verdict also reflected a "clash of civilizations" — the postmodern West on one side and Christian Europe on the other, he said.

The West believes that religion limits democracy, Lukashevich said. "We, on the other hand, believe that forgetting morality is detrimental," he said.

One of the women's lawyers, Violetta Volkova. replied Thursday to Lukashevich by calling his statement "awkward" and "childishly naive" in a message on her LiveJournal blog.

"I highly recommend that the ministry mind its own business and not comment on the Pussy Riot trial for the world community — do not aggravate the risks for Russian authorities' reputation in the international arena," Volkova said.

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See also:

Court to Decide on Banning Pussy Riot Video

Medvedev Calls for Pussy Riot Release

Pussy Riot Members 'Risk Lives' in Soviet-Style Prisons

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