independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Freed Pussy Riot members still want Putin out

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, right, and Maria Alekhina giving a Moscow news conference after they were granted amnesty (AP)

Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot who spent nearly two years in prison for their irreverent protest in Moscow's main cathedral say they still want to topple President Vladimir Putin.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina were released from prison this week under a broad amnesty.

They and another member of the band were arrested after a brief unauthorised performance in Christ the Savior Cathedral in March 2012 denouncing Mr Putin, who was on the verge of being elected to a new term.

The third band member was released months later on a suspended sentence.

Tolokonnikova and Alekhina told a news conference today that they want to drive Mr Putin out of office and they lambasted the system of government he has built.

Critics say their release was prompted by Mr Putin's desire to improve his image in the West ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics next year.

AP

Press Association

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