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You're reading: Pussy Riot trial sets tone for Putin presidency
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The trial has caused an international outcry and crushed
Western and opposition hopes that former KGB officer Putin might
allow more political freedom and give courts more independence
in the first few months of his new term.

“Essentially, it is not three singers from Pussy Riot who
are on trial here. It is the entire state system of the Russian
Federation which is on trial,” Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one the
three defendants, said in her closing statement last week.

Tolokonnikova, 22, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, and Maria
Alyokhina, 24, face up to three years in jail for bursting into
Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral in balaclavas, short
skirts and bright tights and belting out a “punk prayer”
protesting against Putin’s close ties with the Orthodox Church.

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