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Pussy Riot: Rocking out against Putin

Published 3:08 PM ET, Thu February 6, 2014
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Members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot rehearse in Moscow in February 2012. The feminist group has been highly critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his policies. A couple of its members were even found guilty of hooliganism and imprisoned for a 2012 "punk prayer" performance at a Russian Orthodox cathedral. They were freed from prison in December but said they will continue to be a "headache" for Putin's government. Sergey Ponomarev/ap
Pop star Madonna, left, introduces Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the two Pussy Riot members who were imprisoned, at an Amnesty International concert held Wednesday, February 5, in New York City. DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
After their release in December, Alyokhina, left, and Tolokonnikova speak with journalists at a hotel in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Their release was approved when Russian lawmakers backed a sweeping amnesty law announced by Putin. The Russian government said the amnesty marked the anniversary of the adoption of Russia's post-Communist constitution in 1993.
But Tolokonnikova said she felt that the amnesty was a publicity stunt to bolster the government's image before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics.
VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Putin delivers a speech December 19, 2013, during a news conference in Moscow. One reporter asked Putin if he felt that the sentence given to the Pussy Riot members had been too harsh. Putin replied that he was not sorry that the band's actions led to their incarceration, and he said the amnesty law passed on its own merits and was not a review of what the court ruled. Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images
Tolokonnikova sits in a single confinement cell at her penal colony in Partza, Russia, in September. Russian prison authorities moved the jailed activist to the medical unit of her penal colony after her health worsened on the fifth day of a hunger strike. Tolokonnikova said she began her hunger strike to protest prisoners being forced to work excessive hours and being treated like "slaves." Prison authorities denied her allegations, accusing her of lying. ILYA SHABLINSKY/AFP/Getty Images
Alyokhina is escorted to a court hearing in Berezniki, Russia, in January 2013. SERGEY PONOMAREV/maxppp/landov
From left, Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich sit inside a glass enclosure during a court hearing in Moscow in August 2012. Samutsevich, also a member of Pussy Riot, was eventually given a suspended sentence and freed by an appeals court. NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/GettyImages
Members of Pussy Riot perform during a Faith No More concert in Moscow in July 2012. SERGEI KARPUKHIN/reuters/LANDOV
Pussy Riot members perform their "punk prayer" protest inside Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior on February 21, 2012. The girls were marched out of the cathedral by guards. ALESHKOVSKY MITYA/itar-tass/landov
Members of Pussy Riot sing a song in Moscow's Red Square in January 2012. DENIS SINYAKOV/reuters/LANDOV
Pussy Riot members stage a performance near a detention center in Moscow to support detained opposition activists Ilya Yashin and Alexei Navalny in December 2011. DENIS SINYAKOV/reuters/LANDOV