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http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/politics/28.htm..._issue=11586025

Sep 11 2006 12:55PM

Madonna to arrive in Moscow on Monday evening - PR manager

MOSCOW. Sept 11 (Interfax) - Organizers of the pop star Madonna's Russian tour have confirmed Madonna will arrive in Moscow on Monday.

"Madonna will arrive in Moscow in the afternoon on Monday for certain," PR manager for the singer's Russian tour Anton Atrashkin told Interfax.

Asked whether a special meeting is being planned with the participation of the singer and the press and fans, Atrashkin said, "Yes, it is. The meeting will take place on September 12, after tens of thousands of people have enjoyed a live performance by the world's top singer of our times."

Madonna is to give a concert at the Luzhniki sports complex on September 12.

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Guest Little Red
how come tickest r so *the much expense* in Russia?

Moscow is one of the most expensive cities on earth. There's still a bunch of reasonably priced tickets for the floor area and the back though.

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Guest Little Red

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060911/ap_en_...nna_in_moscow_1

Madonna arrives in Moscow for show

2 hours, 29 minutes ago

MOSCOW - Even for a performer who courts controversy, Madonna's Tuesday gig in Moscow has been notably contentious. The city didn't like the planned venue, other critics said her original plan to perform on Sept. 11 was disrespectful to the victims of the U.S. terror attacks five years ago, and officials of Russia's two largest religions didn't care for her performing anytime and anywhere.

But for tens of thousands of Muscovites, her show is one of the most exciting events of the year's cultural calendar, a sold-out blowout to end the summer. TV cameras staked out Moscow's airports for her arrival Monday afternoon, which was a bit short on her trademark glamor: Madonna was covered in a long black coat with a fur collar, apparently a concession to the city's coolish weather.

The temperature is expected to be around 52 degrees for the show at Luzhniki Stadium, but the performance is expected to contain plenty for hot dispute — particularly the planned ending when Madonna sings while suspended from a cross.

That segment is at the heart of religious' groups objections to Madonna's show.

"This lady has been glorifying human passions with the help of religious symbols for years — crosses, statues and beads. Now she thinks it is time for her to crucify herself in public. It means the singer is in need of spiritual help," Father Vsevolod Chaplin, a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church, was quoted as saying by the Pravda news Web site.

Damir Gizatullin, deputy head of Russia's Council of Muftis, said Muslims object to her performance because they offend both Christians and Muslims. "This is in conflict with the traditions of our people," he said, according to the business daily Kommersant.

Several small protests against the upcoming concert have taken place in the past few weeks, mostly by devout Russian Orthodox believers.

Madonna originally planned to perform at Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills), a scenic expanse on the heights just south of the Moscow River framed by the soaring tower of Moscow State University.

That fell through when police said they couldn't ensure security in such a sprawling area and when officials objected to the promoters' reported demand university students keep their dormitory windows closed in order not to get a free show. :lol:

City authorities pushed for the concert to be held at Tushino Airfield, the site of many outdoor rock extravaganzas. However, Tushino is charmless at best and its security image is shadowed by the 2003 double suicide bombing at a concert there that killed 14 spectators.

Eventually, the sides compromised on Luzhniki, a relatively easy site to police because of its location at the tip of a horseshoe bend in the Moscow River.

Police on Monday promised extensive security measures for the more than 50,000 ticketholders. including passing each of them through metal detectors and package inspection points. :provoke:

In all, some 7,000 police will be on duty for the concert, about half of them at the stadium or in the immediate area, city police spokesman Yevgeny Gildeyev said Monday, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.

"We hope that the spectators will react to this with understanding, and will fulfill all demands of the police and behave correctly," he was quoted as saying.

Just in case they don't buses with some 600 members of the OMON riot police force are to be on hand outside the stadium, reports said. :shock:

sept11moscowcapt28cba7f7a8944978bcf8d01f5d7d2712russiqa7.jpg

sept11moscowr1903040699zo2.jpgsept11moscowr1559181009so0.jpg

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http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=1981

11 September 2006, 22:35

Famous Russian theologian advises Madonna to watch The Passion of the Christ to reassess her crucifixion on stage

Moscow, September 11, Interfax - Madonna should watch Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ to understand why the crucifixion scene in her show is an insult to people, a professor at Moscow Church Academy, deacon Andrey Kurayev, told Interfax.

"It's amazing how backward some people can be in our times, especially in America Most probably, Ms. Ciccone hasn't seen The Passion of the Christ. I would be glad to send her a CD of it," father Andrey said.

After this film showed a strikingly naturalistic portrayal of the crucifixion and how painful it was, it could be thought that no more vulgarities of the "I am crucified by critics" or "I bear the cross of my creation" could be possible, he said. Hardly anyone who watched The Passion of the Christ would use a cross as a piece of jewelry, he added.

"From any point of view, even a secular one, a cross symbolizes supreme pain and it's not good to use it for a show. She [Madonna] uses other people's pain to create her image and earn money," father Andrey said.

Replying to those who think that Madonna has already secured a place in world pop music history, he said that the Church "does not care about assessments of her stage activity."

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2353074,00.html

The Times September 12, 2006

Ticket chaos as Moscow is hit by Madonna mania

From Tony Halpin in Moscow

AFTER a pop career spanning a quarter of a century Madonna will stage her debut concert in Moscow tonight amid controversy over ticket sales and security fears.

The world’s biggest-selling female artist was scheduled to perform in a park close to Moscow State University. More than 35,000 tickets were sold within days of becoming available, but police demanded a change of venue two weeks ago amid fears that as many as 200,000 could gatecrash the event. Organisers switched the concert to the Luzhniki Stadium, the largest in the Russian capital, and announced that an extra 20,000 tickets would be available, ranging in price from 1,500 roubles (£30) to 25,000. The average monthly salary in Russia is just under 10,000 roubles.

Fans with tickets for the original event, scheduled to be held yesterday, were infuriated when they were told that they would have to exchange them for new ones.

They were given five days to change the tickets and told that they would be denied entry to the concert unless they did.

Anton Antrashkin, spokesman for the organisers, told The Times that he did not know how many fans were still holding old tickets.

“They can change their tickets even on the day of the concert but we are encouraging them to do it earlier because many people will come from abroad and other cities in Russia and they will need to do it too,” he said.

Organisers have imposed tight security for the visit, refusing even to say at which airport Madonna would arrive. Units of Omon special police will be on duty at the venue alongside Russia’s largest private security firm. There are concerns that the concert could become a target for terrorists.

General Vyacheslav Kozlov, the chief of Moscow’s public security police, told Interfax news service: “About 3,500 policemen, including 400 Omon fighters, as well as police with dogs, bomb technicians and soldiers from the Dzerzhinsky special task division, will be ensuring security.”

Mr Antrashkin said that police cordons would be placed around the stadium to prevent those without tickets from attempting to get into the concert.

But such concerns appeared over-stated. Visitors to the stadium found that tickets in all price ranges were still available. The longest queue appeared to be made up of people seeking refunds after learning that tickets they had bought for the dancing zone in front of the stage were being exchanged for ones high up in the stands.

One disappointed fan said that tellers had told him there were too many people with tickets for the standing area.

Valerie and Natalie Zimoglyat had no such problems after travelling by overnight train from Kiev in Ukraine to change their tickets. The sisters said that they had paid 5,000 roubles each for tickets costing 1,500 roubles through ticket agents in Ukraine. Madonna’s Confessions tour began in May and is expected to be the most financially lucrative in history by a female artist, with gross revenues of $200 million.

Her show has roused the ire of religious authorities in Moscow for a song in which she undergoes a mock crucifixion wearing a fake crown of thorns. The Russian Orthodox Church called on its faithful to boycott the concert, accusing the singer of exploiting religious symbols.

More than 200 members of a radical Orthodox group tore up posters of the singer at a demonstration in the city last week and threatened to do everything possible to prevent the concert from taking place.

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Guest Beautiful Stranger
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2353074,00.html

The Times September 12, 2006

Ticket chaos as Moscow is hit by Madonna mania

From Tony Halpin in Moscow

AFTER a pop career spanning a quarter of a century Madonna will stage her debut concert in Moscow tonight amid controversy over ticket sales and security fears.

The world’s biggest-selling female artist was scheduled to perform in a park close to Moscow State University. More than 35,000 tickets were sold within days of becoming available, but police demanded a change of venue two weeks ago amid fears that as many as 200,000 could gatecrash the event. Organisers switched the concert to the Luzhniki Stadium, the largest in the Russian capital, and announced that an extra 20,000 tickets would be available, ranging in price from 1,500 roubles (£30) to 25,000. The average monthly salary in Russia is just under 10,000 roubles.

Fans with tickets for the original event, scheduled to be held yesterday, were infuriated when they were told that they would have to exchange them for new ones.

They were given five days to change the tickets and told that they would be denied entry to the concert unless they did.

Anton Antrashkin, spokesman for the organisers, told The Times that he did not know how many fans were still holding old tickets.

“They can change their tickets even on the day of the concert but we are encouraging them to do it earlier because many people will come from abroad and other cities in Russia and they will need to do it too,” he said.

Organisers have imposed tight security for the visit, refusing even to say at which airport Madonna would arrive. Units of Omon special police will be on duty at the venue alongside Russia’s largest private security firm. There are concerns that the concert could become a target for terrorists.

General Vyacheslav Kozlov, the chief of Moscow’s public security police, told Interfax news service: “About 3,500 policemen, including 400 Omon fighters, as well as police with dogs, bomb technicians and soldiers from the Dzerzhinsky special task division, will be ensuring security.”

Mr Antrashkin said that police cordons would be placed around the stadium to prevent those without tickets from attempting to get into the concert.

But such concerns appeared over-stated. Visitors to the stadium found that tickets in all price ranges were still available. The longest queue appeared to be made up of people seeking refunds after learning that tickets they had bought for the dancing zone in front of the stage were being exchanged for ones high up in the stands.

One disappointed fan said that tellers had told him there were too many people with tickets for the standing area.

Valerie and Natalie Zimoglyat had no such problems after travelling by overnight train from Kiev in Ukraine to change their tickets. The sisters said that they had paid 5,000 roubles each for tickets costing 1,500 roubles through ticket agents in Ukraine. Madonna’s Confessions tour began in May and is expected to be the most financially lucrative in history by a female artist, with gross revenues of $200 million.

Her show has roused the ire of religious authorities in Moscow for a song in which she undergoes a mock crucifixion wearing a fake crown of thorns. The Russian Orthodox Church called on its faithful to boycott the concert, accusing the singer of exploiting religious symbols.

More than 200 members of a radical Orthodox group tore up posters of the singer at a demonstration in the city last week and threatened to do everything possible to prevent the concert from taking place.

:wow:

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Guest northernlad

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/12/arts/mus....html?ref=music

Madonna Hits Moscow for High-Profile Concert

By: MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ, New York Times.

12mado_CA0.190.jpg

(Madonna zooming past the Kremlin in Moscow yesterday.)

MOSCOW, Sept. 11 — Madonna slipped into Moscow on Monday under a shroud of secrecy and tight security for a concert that has sparked protests and rekindled debate about Russia’s embrace of Western values in the post-Soviet era.

Fans waited in line for tickets last week after the location of Madonna’s Moscow concert was changed. The show is tonight.

She arrived by private plane Monday evening and was rushed in a motorcade to her Moscow hotel. Organizers of Madonna’s concert on Tuesday night had declined to disclose details of her arrival, citing security concerns.

“Our task is to prevent thousands of fans from sweeping into some concrete location, obstructing work at the airport or hotel,” Anton G. Atrashkin, a spokesman for Madonna’s Russian tour, told the news agency Ria Novosti on Monday.

Still, a few hundred fans, many chanting the star’s name, gathered with passers-by in front of the chic Ararat Park Hyatt, where Madonna, 48, arrived about 8:30 p.m. “We wanted this for so long,” said Rustan A. Stydalov, whose long, platinum blond hair resembles Madonna’s. “The last few weeks have been so nerve-racking.”

For weeks, every day has brought word of a new, potentially show-stopping calamity. There have been protests, kidnapping threats aimed at Madonna and warnings of a terrorist attack.

She is hardly the first major Western artist to perform in Russia’s capital in the more permissive post-Soviet era. Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd frontman, and Sting both performed here this year. Paul McCartney played in Red Square in 2004 and won a meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin, a former K.G.B. officer, who admitted to having been a fan as a young man.

But none of those artists carry the notoriety of Madonna, whose trademarks are sexual explicitness and religious controversy. In shows on this tour she has worn a crown of thorns and sung from a crucifix.

The Russian Orthodox Church has warned its followers not to attend. A group called the Union of Orthodox Flag Bearers, which has no official connection to the church but expresses the views held by its most ardent followers, declared a “holy inquisition” against her. At a protest here last week demonstrators, some with signs saying “Madonna Go Home,” speared a photograph of her with a wooden spike before tearing it up and jumping on the pieces.

“Madonna exploits the crucifix, statues of the Holy Mother and other religious symbols to illustrate her own passion,” said a church spokesman, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, in remarks that were widely reported in the Russian press. “This girl really needs spiritual help.”

Mr. Atrashkin shrugged off the protests. “This is a country where anyone can go into the street and say they hate Madonna,” he said, noting the country’s post-Soviet progress. “But we also know that there are thousands of people who are going to come and enjoy her concert.”

Other Russians agreed. Mikhail S. Yermakov, a Moscow restaurant manager, suggested Madonna’s performance would be another step forward in Russia’s shaky evolution. It shows “the situation is more stable,” Mr. Yermakov said, referring to the political calm and growing wealth in Russia. “Earlier it was too dangerous.”

In the last few years Moscow has become a gaudy showcase of capitalism, with Bentleys and Mercedes clogging its ring highways and its trendy streets lined with expensive boutiques. For many Muscovites, Madonna’s concert signifies the city’s arrival on the world stage.

“For Russia it is very good,” Mr. Stydalov said outside Madonna’s hotel. “It means that the world is looking at Russia differently.”

For the concert Tuesday about 3,500 militia officers will be deployed, including 400 antiriot police, along with the Moscow bomb squad and a company of special forces troops, Vyacheslav Kozlov, a Moscow police official, told Interfax on Monday. “We are taking the same security measures as are standard during a well-attended soccer match,” he said. In Moscow drunken brawls and sometimes riots break out at soccer games.

Set construction for the concert has been under way since last Monday, when the first trucks carrying the 200 tons of equipment needed for the show began arriving in Moscow.

Only a week before, Moscow law enforcement officials announced that they could not guarantee security at the original site, an open-air space on Sparrow Hills — the former Lenin Hills — on the bank of the Moscow River. The reasons were murky, but some officials were quoted as expressing concerns that students at Moscow State University, which towers over the site, might fall from dorm windows while craning to see the show (or drinking too much). Other reports noted concerns that fans could watch without paying for a ticket.

After a week of deliberation the authorities finally approved Luzhniki stadium, a Soviet-era behemoth that was built for the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

For fans, securing tickets for the show has been nearly as traumatic as organizing it has been for promoters. Having already sold tickets for the original date and site, the organizers had to organize an exchange of thousands of tickets. Andrei O. Sukov, a recent arrival to Moscow from Kazakhstan, waited in line for two days to buy his tickets. “I’m not even a fan really,” he said, “but I’d love to see Madonna live.”

Despite the inconvenience Mr. Atrashkin expects more than 50,000 people to turn out. Among them will be famous Russian performing artists and even representatives from several Russian political parties. Madonna’s international tour promoter, Author Fogel, said at a news conference on Sunday that the Moscow concert “will be the best show of the tour.”

There were even some press reports that Madonna, like Sir Paul, would meet with Russia’s biggest pop star, President Putin. Mr. Atrashkin dispelled those rumors, much to the disappointment of the country’s newspapers. Instead, he said, she would be provided with a list of the city’s top clubs, restaurants and cultural sites.

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Russian Church urges Madonna to tone down her act

Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:46 AM ET

By James Kilner

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Orthodox Church made a last-minute plea to Madonna to drop symbols of the crucifixion from her stage show when she performs in Moscow for the first time on Tuesday.

The 48-year-old pop star has outraged Christian groups across Europe by staging a mock crucifixion and wearing a crown of thorns on her global "Confessions" tour.

As the controversial star prepared to perform before an estimated crowd of 50,000 at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium, an Orthodox Church spokesman called on her to tone down her act.

"We are not against Madonna. We're against her blasphemous acts during the concert," Father Sergei Zvonoryov, a member of the Moscow patriarchy press department, said.

"Crucifixion, cross, diadem of thorns on her head. All this is a parody on the crucifixion of Christ. She must respect the view of the country and society, where she is going to perform," he said.

Other radical Orthodox groups threatened to stage protests outside the stadium.

"We can't get the show banned but we can ask people to pray and protest against her presence here," said a spokesman for two such groups, the Union of Orthodox Banner-Bearers and the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods.

"She wants to hurt our religious feelings," he said.

Russians lap up visits by Western pop stars who have made sporadic trips since the 1991 fall of communism and, despite the strong church reaction, the event has been an instant sell-out.

Wooden "matryoshka" dolls with Madonna's face have been on sale for weeks off Moscow's Red Square and she has featured heavily in newspapers before her first concert in Russia.

Hundreds of fans kept vigil to welcome her when she flew in to one of Moscow's VIP airports by private jet on Monday night and then was whisked by convoy to a city center hotel, a short walk from the Kremlin.

Madonna, a lapsed Roman Catholic whose shows have been denounced by the Vatican, has attracted accusations of blasphemy throughout her career.

In the finale of her "Confessions" show, she sings while suspended from a cross.

(Additional reporting by Vera Kalian)

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Guest Moskovit

Well, I arrive in Moscow from business trip and Madonna is here, without Rocco and Lourdes, so Guy said his word.

Yesterday after arrival, she went out of hotel, fans were crying "Ma-don-na, Ma-don-na", like in good old Soviet times people cried "Lenin, Labor, Revolution". She rided to the gallery on Solyanka street where Steven Klein's exhibition had opened a day earlier, she was there for five minutes and then drove to Red Square but as her fans found out where's she and there were hundreds of fans there and the crowd was growing, Madonna didn't get out of the car and just look at the Kremlin from the car, then came back to her posh Ararat Park Hayat hotel.

So if attending exhibition with her own portraits and not even walking in the Red Square can be considered as cultural program :horny: she had it yesterday.

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Guest Moskovit

My driver told me that Komsomolyskiy Prospect (one of the main city avenues) near Luzhniki stadium is empty today, this is really weird, considering Moscow heavy traffic, there is a policeman at each five meters and they don't let to park the car there. So the security measures are even too strict and you said mafia, terrorists, religious fanatics – bullshit, everything will be ok.

F**k that Skype technology I can’t escape from the office and try to get to the consert, without everybody seeing I’m out.

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I reallly wish they would have filmed several concerts and picked the best one. Moscow has the potential to be the grandest of them all.

Me too. I have this feeling about the Moscow concert... I think is gonna be great

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http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/entertainment...tent_687441.htm

Madonna went to Russia in furs

(utro.ru)

Updated: 2006-09-12 21:38

What seemed to be an eternal waiting has finally come to an end, and it was not in vain! The most popular and most admired pop-star in the world arrived in Moscow.

At the age of 48 and on the 24'th year of her musical career Madonna stepped on the Russian soil for the very first time in order to present her "Confession of a Dance Floor" to thousands of adoring fans. The long-awaited day has arrived. Despite the protests from the Russian Orthodox Church leaders and death threats from anonymous ill-wishers world's sexiest and most scandalous singer will perform in "Luzhniki."

Actually Mrs. Louise Ciccone was expected in the capital on Sunday together with her husband and children. But contrary to the expectations the dear guest arrived Monday by herself. Apparently she left Guy Ritchie, Lourdes and Rocco in London. Her flight's time and place of arrival were kept completely secret until the last minute. In the end the place turned out to be airport in Vnukovo-3 and the time - last night.

Moscow greeted the ungodly musician with a heavy rain. A special ladder was ordered to the plain to protect the lady from getting wet. But practical Madonna came fully prepared for the surprises of mysterious Russia . She came out dressed in warm hooded jacket with bits of fur. Her face was adorned with the sunglasses of course! She looked happy, smiled and waved at the photographers.

Even before her flight had arrived Madonna was presented with a list of hotels where she could stay for the night and a list of clubs and restaurants where she could spend her evening. From the first list the singer chose "Ararat Park Hyatt," and the magnificent "Audi" (Madonna's favorite car) took off in the direction of her hotel choice. There Mrs. Ciccone was warmly met by a crowd of fans and an entire security squad. However, once she has rested, the pop-star decided not to attend any clubs or restaurants. Instead she headed down to the exhibition of her good friend ¨C the photographer Steven Klein.

Meanwhile the fans are leading the countdown to the cherished moment. Madonna's performance will be preceded by Paul Oakenfold. But the fans are willing to put up with the guy for the sake of their dream. And besides this famous DJ's visit in itself is a great musical event.

As for those who care nothing for the pop-music or for its Queen, they can only expect trouble from the upcoming concert. If last night the price had to be paid by the drivers, today it's the pedestrians' turn. Due to Madonna's performance the subway station "Vorobiovi Gori" is going to be closed for the entire day. From 9:00am until midnight all the trains will be passing through the station with stopping.

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Thanks to Madonnalicious!

Posted: 11 September 2006 - Thanks to Boris

Fans can download this Russian TV report that was broadcast tonight. It shows the stadium being prepared for the Confessions Tour show tomorrow night and Madonna arriving in Russia earlier this evening.

madonna_moscow_110906_arrive_tv_report.j

madonna_moscow_110906_arrive_tv_report_s

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=TH0S7YBQ

http://rapidshare.de/files....sf.html

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Madonna Set to Sing in Moscow Tonight

Sep 12 9:14 AM US/Eastern

By JUDITH INGRAM

Associated Press Writer

Madonna is due to take the stage of Moscow's biggest stadium on Tuesday night for the latest concert in her round-the-world "Confessions" tour in spite of religious protesters' threats to disrupt the performance.

The culmination of the concert, when Madonna sings while suspended from a cross, is at the heart of objections to the show.

"I think a deeply believing person would never go to the concert," the Rev. Vsevolod Chaplin, a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church, told Associated Press Television News. "This lady ... plays with religious symbols, and I think it's not only a matter of financial advancement of her production but it's also a kind of attempt to justify and sanctify her message and her sins, using something holy."

The singer arrived in the Russian capital late Monday and kept a low profile, waving at fans waiting to glimpse her as she slipped into her downtown hotel, the Park Ararat. She work a black parka with a fur- lined hood, wide-legged parachute pants and dark glasses.

More than 50,000 people have bought tickets for the heavily advertised performance, and some 7,000 police officers were to be on hand in and around Luzhniki Stadium, on a bend in the Moscow River near Gorky Park.

The Russian Orthodox Church has objected to the performance, pushing hard for the organizers to push it back from the initially planned date of Sept. 11 _ both in a sign of respect for the victims of the terror attacks in the United States five years ago, and because that date coincided with a church holiday, the Feast of St. John the Baptist.

The venue was also switched. The concert originally was planned for a stage on the Vorobyovye Gory (Sparrow Hills), overlooking the Moscow River, but the Orthodox Church said that would be inappropriate because two churches are located there. The organizers scrambled to find another site after police said they could not ensure security in such a sprawling area.

City authorities pushed for the concert to be held at Tushino Airfield, the site of many outdoor rock extravaganzas. However, Tushino is on the outskirts of the city, it is anything but scenic and its security image is shadowed by the 2003 double suicide bombing at a concert there that killed 14 spectators.

Scores of Orthodox protesters, dressed in religious costume and carrying religious symbols, have held noisy rallies over the past few weeks to protest the concert.

"We are conducting an intensive spiritual fight against her name: We are standing up to her satanic spirit," said Dmitry Antonov, who said belonged to a group called the Union of Orthodox Crusaders. "We will try to disrupt the concert."

His colleague, Leonid Nikshish, said Madonna could sing whatever she wants, "but as soon as she starts to defile the cross, we will do everything possible to make sure she's kicked out of Russia and not just Russia." :wacko:

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Guest Moskovit
wow, she's being treated like a queen!!!! police on every 5 meters of her..... subway station closed!!!!

Aga, she is the first lady of the country today, though the subway station closing is usual when there are football matches or conserts in Luzhniki.

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:lmao: @ this photo

genimagehe8.jpg

A Russian Orthodox youth movement supporter stands in a mask depicting U.S. singer Madonna as they protest her upcoming performance on Tuesday in Moscow, September 12, 2006. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Madonna to defy Russia church plea to tone down act

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:21 AM EDT

By James Kilner

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Pop star Madonna will sing suspended from a cross in the finale of her Moscow concert on Tuesday despite a plea from the Russian Orthodox Church to drop that part of her act.

The 48-year-old U.S. pop star has outraged Christian groups across Europe by staging a mock crucifixion and wearing a crown of thorns on her global "Confessions" tour.

"This will be absolutely the same show as Madonna has performed in other European capitals," Anton Atrashkin, press chief for Madonna's Russia concert, said as the star prepared to take to the stage in Moscow's Luzhniki stadium.

Madonna, a lapsed Roman Catholic whose shows have been denounced by the Vatican, has attracted accusations of blasphemy throughout her career.

In the finale of her "Confessions" show, she sings while suspended from a cross.

The Orthodox Church has called on people to boycott Tuesday's concert, though the show was a sell-out and she was expected to draw an estimated 50,000 people.

"We are not against Madonna. We're against her blasphemous acts during the concert," Father Sergei Zvonoryov, a member of the Moscow patriarchy press department, said.

"Crucifixion, cross, diadem of thorns on her head. All this is a parody on the crucifixion of Christ," he said.

Riot police and lines of army cadets monitored thousands of Madonna fans who streamed to Moscow's Soviet-built Luzhniki stadium, the main venue for the 1980 Olympics.

Police detained a handful of radical Orthodox believers protesting against Madonna by singing hymns and holding crosses outside the stadium, local news agencies reported.

But fans had only words of support for Madonna's intention to stick to the original performance plans.

"It's misunderstood. It's pop music and modern art," said Igor Antipov, 27, who had traveled from St Petersburg for the concert. "The Church is another part of our life. I'm an Orthodox believer and I can see the distinction."

Russia's Orthodox Church has been able to fill a vacuum in faith since the fall of Communism in 1991 and has grown in influence and power.

But Russians also lap up visits by Western pop stars who have made sporadic trips over the last 15 years and the event has been an instant sell-out.

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Guest boytoyville

From DrownedMadonna

Live

Latest from Moscow.

MOSCOW, September 12 (Itar-Tass) -- About 20,000 viewers have come to the Luzhniki sports center to watch Madonna’s Confessions show.

All is quiet, and the police are in control, city police deputy spokesman Yevgeny Gildeyev told Itar-Tass.

“The viewers keep coming, and the dancing floor is full at 90%, while only one-thirds of seats are taken,” he said.

The police have detained ten supporters of Orthodox organizations, who protested against Madonna’s Moscow show at Luzhniki, Gildeyev said.

“Representatives of the Union of Orthodox Gonfaloniers tried to hold an unauthorized picket, but their attempts were immediately stopped by the police. Administrative protocols are being drafted,” he said.

A total of 3,500 policemen are providing for law and order at Luzhniki, and 600 OMON servicemen are on the standby.

Firemen, rescuers and ambulance vehicles will stay near the stadium until late at night. Ten people have asked for medical aid, but none of them needed hospitalization.

The Luzhniki area is cordoned by the police and OMON, and officers are patrolling the area between the Sportivnaya metro station and the sports center. Forty-five mounted policemen and two police helicopters are also part of the operation.

The show is a strain for local traffic. Seventy traffic police officers are on duty near Luzhniki.

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Guest Xanthium

As a Russian-American I am so pleased that Madonna is finally playing Moscow and her fans there finally get to see her! Does anyone know how many people the stadium can fill?

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