The Russian Orthodox Church's standoff with punk-rock musicians from the Pussy Riot band continues, and becomes more inflammatory by the day, thanks to the Kremlin. In Russia's month-long news vacuum, attention is paid to anything to do with corrupt church leader Father Kirill, fresh Putin's moves, and the political opposition's movements. Today, a private Russian citizen, Andrey Borodin, 36, became an unlikely folk hero by sneaking an axe through the Moscow's court security. The ostensible charge was that he was attempting to murder federal judge Elena Ivanova. On April 29 the judge had extended the jail holding time for Pussy Riot band members who earlier stripped naked at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in protest to Russian Orthodox Church's over-involvement in the Russian politics. Andrey was engaged in a bit of retaliatory street theater.
Had Andrey actually planned to kill the judge he would have had plenty of time (and the axe) on his hands. However, he allowed a surprisingly long amount of time for the court security to rush into the judge's office and detain him. Witnesses described him as "looking happy and accomplished" during the detention. The story itself seems merely "amusing," but the internet comments on the Russian websites are truly prolific. Having browsed through hundreds of comments and talked to a few Russians, I haven't found a single one condemning Andrey's actions. Quite the opposite; the Russian Internet made Andrey an overnight hero and led to fulsome calls for Russians to rise up and "kill them all with axes, forks, and chains" like in the good old times. One commenter says that "Andrey will get 10 years [in prison], had he axed her - he would've gotten 15 - extra five to finish off the corrupt judge who listens to Papa Vladimir would've been a good investment!" A few commenters think that the attack was a United Russia-administered conspiracy to show how violent the opposition can be. Whatever the truth is, the insinuation is obvious - progressive, Internet-using Russians endorse a violent solution to Russia's political stagnation. Those who've read Russian history books know that paranoia from any side is not a good social tendency for the Motherland.