Minister Rounds On Madge

Russian deputy premier Dmitry Rogozin has rounded on Madonna after she shows support for the three jailed members of punk band Pussy Riot, on trial for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.

He tweeted a message that apparently accuses Madge of being “a former w” who now wants to give lectures on morality. It’s assumed the “w” is short for “whore.”

“Either take off your cross or put on your knickers,” Rogozin said in response to Madonna’s support of the girls, who have been held in custody since the protest months ago.

During her show in Moscow Aug. 7, Madonna expressed her support for Pussy Riot and said she’d pray for them.

She then turned her back, which had “Pussy Riot” written on it, and donned a ski mask similar to those worn by the band during their anti-Putin protest at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral in February.

She’d earlier said she hopes that the judge is lenient with the band members and that they are freed soon.

In response to Rogozin’s comments, Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg said, “Maybe he and Elton can form a Madonna fan club.” She was referring to the recent public comments that Elton John made about Madonna’s career being “over” and her tour a “disaster.”

The Pussy Rioters trial opened in Moscow at the end of July. The verdict is expected Aug. 17.