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Russian President Putin Confirms Amnesty for Pussy Riot Members

Maria Alekhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikov. Photo via Earth First!

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that the imprisoned Pussy Riot members will be freed under an amnesty but described their protest against him in a church as “disgraceful behaviour,” NDTV reported.

The amnesty will also free 30 people arrested in a Greenpeace protest against Arctic oil — before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics in February 2014.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are serving two-year sentences for a protest at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which included the filming the music video “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!”

Putin said the amnesty was passed to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia’s post-Soviet constitution, and not with the Greenpeace protesters or Pussy Riot in mind.

At an annual news conference today Putin said:

“It (the amnesty) is neither linked to Greenpeace, nor this group (Pussy Riot).”

But Putin also said, “I was not sorry that they (the Pussy Riot members) ended up behind bars,” Putin said. “I was sorry that they were engaged in such disgraceful behaviour, which in my view was degrading to the dignity of women. They went beyond all boundaries.”

For more of the story go here.

Pussy Riot-Punk Prayer:

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