Pussy Riot says freed to improve Russia's image before Olympics

Two members of punk protest band released four days ago under Kremlin amnesty

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina (left) talk to the media at Vnukovo airport in Moscow. The two members of Russian punk protest band Pussy Riot were freed from prison. Photograph: Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina (left) talk to the media at Vnukovo airport in Moscow. The two members of Russian punk protest band Pussy Riot were freed from prison. Photograph: Tatyana Makeyeva/Reuters

Fri, Dec 27, 2013, 11:44

One of two freed members of punk protest band Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, said today that their release was an effort to improve Russia’s image before the Sochi Olympics, which she called president Vladimir Putin’s pet project.

At a news conference four days after their release under a Kremlin amnesty, Tolokonnikova’s band mate Maria Alyokhina said the Russian Orthodox Church played a role in their jailing in 2012 for a profanity-laced protest in Moscow’s main cathedral.

(Reuters)