MOSCOW - A college teacher who has confessed to killing two women in the Russian city of Kazan says he scrawled "Free Pussy Riot" in blood on their apartment wall to mislead investigators, police said on Friday.
The initial hint that the killer was inspired by the actions of the Pussy Riot punk band, three of whose members have been jailed after performing an irreverent "punk prayer" in a cathedral, had provoked new criticism of the group by a Russian Orthodox Church official on Thursday.
But the police report made clear that the crime had not been committed by a Pussy Riot supporter and was not inspired by the group's protest against President Vladimir Putin in February near the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral.
The suspect, a 38-year-old man who lives with his parents, told police he had killed the victims - a 38-year-old former classmate who had helped him pay off debts and her mother - during an argument.
He said he then wrote the words on the wall "to draw suspicion away from himself and portray it as a ritual killing", the regional Interior Ministry said.