Pussy Riot allies to continue protests against Putin

Daniel Sandford reports

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Members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot plan to continue their anti-Putin protests despite the trial of three colleagues on hooliganism charges.

Seven of the balaclava-clad women talked to BBC News about their protest campaign, using only their nicknames.

A band member called Mother said "of course" when asked if Pussy Riot would carry on protesting as before.

"We'll try to follow our principles, of freedom of speech... we will do it to support our sisters in prison."

Some of the interviewees took part in the protest on 21 February which led to three being arrested and put on trial.

The verdict is expected on Friday. Russian prosecutors have asked for three years in prison for the women.

Pussy Riot played a song attacking Russian President Vladimir Putin at the altar of Moscow's Christ the Saviour cathedral.

The band sided with protesters who staged huge marches against Mr Putin and his United Russia party after December parliamentary elections marred by many alleged abuses.

In the interview, another band member, Terminator, said: "Nobody can mute us, nobody can forbid us to do what we want... We want Russia to be a better place… We won't stop, we would do it again".

Terminator continued: "I hope somebody in the government realises now they're doing something very awful, very bad and have to stop it".

She said the church protest was "not an act of hooliganism, definitely not an anti-religious act" but a "political performance" against President Putin.

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