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Pussy Riot pair slam Putin after early release from jail

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Pussy Riot pair slam Putin after early release from jail

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Pardoned but unbowed, two members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot remain highly critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin despite his decision to free them early from jail.

Speaking after her release, Maria Alyokhina said she would keep opposing the president.

“I’m planning to engage in human rights activities, socially-oriented activities and it will be just as bright and bold as when we were in Pussy Riot,” she told reporters.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who had been serving her time in a Siberian prison thousands of kilometres away from her friend in a jail nearer Moscow, said she had no regrets.

“It was a cynical act,” she said. “Putin blamed us for carrying out cynical acts, but in reality his actions are much more cynical. He is releasing people who do not need to be released. The remaining two months I could have easily spent where I was, while he refuses to release those people who really needed it. It is a disgusting and cynical act.”

The women were sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism after performing an anti-Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral. They had been due for release in March.