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On Friday, the court refused to hear most of the witnesses called by the defense. Full report from Reuters:

A Moscow court refused to hear most defense witnesses called to testify on Friday on behalf of the protest action by the Pussy Riot band, dimming hopes among human rights groups that Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, could escape lengthy sentences.

“Putin cheated us yet again,” defense lawyer Nikolai Polozov said on the social networking site Twitter. “The court continues pressurizing the defendants and ourselves.”


Pyotr Verzilov, husband to one of the Pussy Riot women, wrote a week-long journal for the Guardian

It takes the girls four hours to get back to the prison, and four hours to get to the court again because of all the procedures involved, so they had very little sleep. The first witness today was the person who cleans the cathedral altar where the girls sang their anti-Putin song. Did he feel morally traumatised (by the girls’ actions), the defence lawyer asked? No, he said, he felt a spiritual trauma.


Foreign Policy – of all places – wonders if Pussy Riot are punker than everyone:

Dissidents do not fare well in Putinist Russia, for one; for another, punk rock—rock ‘n’ roll’s snottier, wittier, and more abrasive bastard child—does not typically win. Punk has a long history of aspiring to disrupt corrupt and authoritarian governments, corporations, and other structures of international power. But it does not have a long history of success. Accordingly, punk rock has set more achievable, less globalized political goals: typically, localized protests and raising consciousness. Pussy Riot, obscure just months ago, is now an international phenomenon, with the three band members proclaimed prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International and the band the darling of long-suffering Russian intellectuals who have rallied to its defense. And while no one may be talking about the group for its music, a look back at the history of punk rock’s earlier geopolitical achievements shows that Pussy Riot has already surpassed them—and perhaps given punk rock a future as a global force for justice and freedom.




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