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Pussy Riot Meets Hillary Clinton As Moscow Drops ‘Religious Hatred’ Charges [Video]

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot is back in the United States as the two members who have become the public face of the Russian protest and punk rock collective, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, appeared Friday at the Women In The World Summit in New York.

As the two women were rubbing elbows with some of the America’s most prominent women, back in Moscow, a court cleared them of the “religious hatred” charges that contributed to their prison sentence in 2012.

Tolokonnikova, 24, and Alyokhina, 25, along with a third member of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in Russian prison after they stormed the altar of an Orthodox Christian church and gave an impromptu rendition of their anti-Vladimir Putin punk-rock song, “A Punk Prayer.”

They were arrested for “hooliganism,” a charge which still stands, and “inciting religious hatred.” But the Pussy Riot members always denied that they were, as the Moscow court that convicted them said, “driven by hatred against a social group,” namely Orthodox Christians.

On Friday, the Russian court knocked one month off the Pussy Riot prison terms, but the gesture at this point is purely symbolic because the imprisoned Pussy Riot members were released in December, ahead of the Sochi Olympics.

During a Pussy Riot appearance on NBC’s Today Show Friday morning, interviewer Matt Lauer asked the pair if they believed Putin had ordered their release to show his “softer side” to the world before the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

“When we got released, we didn’t have any illusions at all that Putin’s regime became more liberal,” replied Tolokonnikova.

Later at Lincoln Center, where the Women in the World Summit was held, Pussy Riot met likely 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state.

Clinton hailed Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, “strong” and “brave young women, who refused to let their voices be silenced.”

The Women in the World Summit was organized by former Vanity Fair, New Yorker and Daily Beast editor Tina Brown, who accompanied Pussy Riot on their Today Show appearance.

“They paid a heavy price for their resistance to Putin and I think that what they’ve shown is exactly what is happening now. Putin is a thug, Putin is a bully. They were brave enough to stand up, they paid a price and they went in as students and they came out as world famous activists,” Brown told Lauer, in response to his question about why she invited Pussy Riot to the summit.

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3 Responses to “Pussy Riot Meets Hillary Clinton As Moscow Drops ‘Religious Hatred’ Charges [Video]”

  1. Tim Wester

    Another pro Clinton story. How many does that make?

  2. Albert Abdrakhimov

    You are simply tricked for money. The second-rate fraudstering group found the way to earn money by political cliche, not by their talents.