Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin commented on the backlash at a Twitter message he wrote apparently insulting pop singer Madonna with a swearword, and maligned the artist a second time using explicit language.
Rogozin, formerly an oppositional nationalist who has become a loyalist of President Vladimir Putin, suggested late Thursday on Facebook that the public may have misinterpreted a tweet he wrote that was widely understood to be an insult of Madonna. The tweet used a one-letter abbreviation, seemingly for the word "whore," in her address.
"This is curious: Everyone understood the letter 'b' in my tweet monosyllabically, although it could have stood for such words as 'boginya' ['goddess'] or, for instance, 'ballerina.' And at the same time [everyone] linked my comment with so-called 'Madonna' (the hell with her), although I didn't mention a word about her," Rogozin wrote.
"Now that's unwavering public opinion," he wrote.
The deputy prime minister provoked a storm of controversy by tweeting late Wednesday that "every former w. who has aged wants to give lectures about morals, especially during tours and gigs abroad." Bloggers interpreted his statement to be about Madonna, who at a concert in Moscow on Tuesday urged authorities to free jailed members of punk band Pussy Riot.