I feel the media is playing up a Statement which seems to me as normal.
Group sex is a common fantasy for men across the world – albeit one most professional men would not mention at work.
But Russian President Vladimir Putin has now openly added his voice to the list of enthusiasts in a discussion with Russian TV.
The macho politician – who relishes being pictured with his top off in the wilderness – made the remarks in his first interview since his inauguration in May.
‘Some fans of group sex say it is better than one-on-one because, as with any collective work, you can skive off
The comments came after the Russian leader had talked about an orgy staged in Moscow’s state biology museum in 2008. That involved 22-year-old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the three feminist members of Pussy Riot.
They were jailed for two years for hooliganism last month after a politically charged trial.
He declined to comment on the sentence.
But he was happy to talk about the orgy. That was organised by the Voina (war) art collective.
At the time Pussy Riot claimed the orgy was a protest at the appointment of Dmitry Medvedev as Putin’s one-term successor in the Kremlin.
‘They performed group sex in a public place,’ said the president.
‘It was, as they say, their affair. People have the right to do what they like as long as it doesn’t break the law,’ Putin said.
‘But (by doing it) in public, then the authorities should have paid attention to that.’
Some commentators will claim Putin is losing touch. Others will see a confident leader following the street protests that surrounded his election for a third term in spring.
On Wednesday, he made headlines after flying a motorised hang-glider to train captive-bred Siberian cranes to travel from the Arctic to their southern migration grounds.
Footage of the flight shows Putin looking impassive as he swoops through the air in bug-eyed black goggles.
The young cranes can be seen flapping behind his glider.
These tricks have prompted ridicule among liberals.
But they play well with Russians who like the president’s alpha-male image.
Excerpts on the issue.
“Ok and now I’d like to talk about the trial and jailing of Pussy Riot, that punk group band. There’s been much criticism that the sentence handed down was too strong, too much and that the whole case was too big a deal off and that it actually back fired and has brought more people to their cause with the publicity. With hind sight , always a beautiful thing, but with hindsight do you think the case could have been handled differently?
Putin: You’ve been working in Russia for a while now and maybe know some Russian. Could you please translate the name of the band into Russian?
RT: Pussy Riot the punk band,I don’t know what you would call them in Russian Sir, but may be you could tell me!
Putin: Can you translate the first word into Russian? Or maybe it would sound too obscene? Yes, I think you wouldn’t do it because it sounds too obscene, even in English.
RT: I actually thought it was referring to a cat, but I’m getting your point here. Do you think the case was handled wrongly in any way, could some lesson have been learned?
Putin: I know you understand it perfectly well, you don’t need to pretend you don’t get it. It’s just because these people made everyone say their band’s name too many times. It’s obscene — but forget it.
Here’s what I would like to say. I have always felt that punishment should be proportionate to the offence. I am not in a position now and would not like, anyway, to comment on the decision of a Russian court, but I would rather talk about the moral side of the story.
First, in case you never heard of it, a couple of years ago one of the band’s members put up three effigies in one of Moscow’s big supermarkets, with a sign saying that Jews, gays and migrant workers should be driven out of Moscow. I think the authorities should have looked into their activities back then. After that, they staged an orgy in a public place. Of course, people are allowed to do whatever they want to do, as long as it’s legal, but this kind of conduct in a public place should not go unnoticed by the authorities. Then they uploaded the video of that orgy on the internet. You know some fans of group sex say it’s better than one-on-one because, like in any team, you don’t need to hit the ball all the time.
Again, it’s okay if you do what you like privately, but I wouldn’t be that certain about uploading your acts on the internet. It could be the subject of legal assessment, too.
Then they turned up at Yelokhovo Cathedral, here in Moscow, causing unholy mayhem, and went to another cathedral and caused mayhem there, too.
You know, Russians still have painful memories of the early years of Soviet rule, when thousands of Orthodox, Muslim, as well as clergy of other religions were persecuted. Soviet authorities brutally repressed the clergy. Many churches were destroyed. The attacks had a devastating effect on all our traditional religions. And so in general I think the state has to protect the feelings of believers.
I will not comment on whether the verdict is well-grounded and the sentence proportionate to the offence. These girls must have lawyers who defend their interests in court. They have the right to file an appeal and demand a new hearing. But it’s up to them, it’s just a legal issue.
RT: Is it realistic at all they will get some sort of early release?
Putin: I don’t know whether their lawyers have filed an appeal or not. I don’t follow the case that closely. If they appeal, a higher court is empowered to take any decision. To be honest, I try to stay as far away from the case as possible. I know the details but I do not want to get into it.
RT: There’s concern here and abroad that Russia has been suffering a clamp down on the opposition since you returned as President. There’s tighter defamation law, upping the fines for defamation, internet censorship laws brought into protect children. All these introduced under your watch. What’s the balance do you think between a healthy opposition and maintaining law and order? what’s your view?
Putin: So is it true then that other countries don’t have laws that ban child pornography, including online?
RT: Indeed they do.
Putin: So they do? Well, we didn’t, until recently. And if we began to protect our society and our children from these offences…
Vladimir Putin Pussy Riot Russia Today Maria Alyokhina Yekaterina Samutsevich Nadezhda Tolokonnikova
- Pussy Riot case: Putin jokes about orgies during ‘moral’ discussion (nzherald.co.nz)