Madonna has made a career out of pushing buttons and poking at hornets’ nests, but her latest piece of controversy goes far beyond flashing her naughty bits, mucking with Nazi imagery, or deflecting catty barbs from Elton John.
In the wake of Madonna’s support for imprisoned Russian punk band Pussy Riot (who are currently on trial for staging a protest and criticizing Vladimir Putin), the U.S. Embassy in Russia has encouraged fans attending Thursday’s show in St. Petersberg to be extra vigilant and alert following credible threats of violence.
In a statement posted on the Embassy’s website, the organization noted, “The U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg has received information regarding a threat of physical violence against spectators and performers at the St. Petersburg concert on Aug. 9 … Russian authorities have indicated to the Embassy that they are taking appropriate measures in light of this information. While we expect that enhanced security measures will be put in place at both concerts, U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant regarding their personal security, and to be aware of their surroundings at all times, especially in crowded areas.”
Last night’s show in Moscow went off without incident. During a break in the action, Madonna paused to talk about the imprisoned band. “I mean no disrespect to the church or the government,” the singer said. “But I think that these three girls – Masha, Katya, Nadya – have done something courageous, have paid the price for their act, and I pray for their freedom.”
Madonna is currently on tour for her latest album MDNA. She begins the North American leg on Aug. 28 in Philadelphia.
Read More on EW.com:
Madonna expresses hope for leniency toward imprisoned Russian rockers
Sir Elton John on Madonna: ‘She looks like a f-king fairground stripper’
Madonna facing lawsuit in France over swastika imagery