A group of Russian Orthodox Church worshippers described as "cult followers" have ambushed a sex shop in central Moscow.
Video footage from the "Tochka G" ("G Spot") shop's CCTV and eyewitnesses' telephones show seven elderly women in head scarfs, sprinkling what is believed to be holy water on merchandise on the shop's shelves and shouting "Shame! Shame!"
The group of women were led into the shop by a young man holding a 'Madonna and Child' icon, who was apprehended from entering by security guards before the women managed to pass through. Footage from last Wednesday's encounter has already been uploaded to YouTube, garnering thousands of hits.
"The women looked like cult followers," Dmitry, security guard at Tochka G, told Metro. "They had deranged eyes with dark circles under them. People from the Church would never do this."
"I would never think that 'babushkas' with icons would go into a sex shop!" Yuri, an eyewitness who filmed the encounter on his phone, told Metro.
The event ended on a violent note after an unidentified man threw punches at the man carrying the icon, destroying the icon's picture frame and bringing the man to the floor.
"Ahh! They are killing!" Demons!" one elderly woman said after seeing the scuffle. "Police! They have killed a man." The man in fact rose to his feet, leaving the premises with a bloodied lip.
The Russian Orthodox Church has been making recent strides in promoting conservative Russian values as opposed to Western liberalism. A parliamentary bill that bans "homosexual propopganda", which critics believe could crimimalize almost any overt public expression of gay sexuality, is being drafted and is supported by the Kremlin and the Church.