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Russian anti-Putin punk band Pussy Riot handed 2-year sentence
Three members of the punk band Pussy Riot — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center), and Maria Alyokhina (right) — attend a court hearing July 30.
Three members of the punk band Pussy Riot — Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (left), Yekaterina Samutsevich (center), and Maria Alyokhina (right) — attend a court hearing July 30.
Aleshkovsky Mitya/ITAR-TASS Photo/Corbis
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judge in Moscow sentenced the three members of the punk band Pussy Riot to two years in prison for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, accusing the trio of blasphemy for storming onto the altar of Moscow's Russian Orthodox cathedral to sing a song critical of President Vladimir Putin. The supporters of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Marina Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, say the trial is proof of Putin's crackdown on political dissent. The Pussy Riot case has drawn condemnation from a long list of celebrities, including Paul McCartney, Sting, and Madonna, but opinion is split in the band's heavily Russian Orthodox homeland.

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