Samutsevich, Tolokonnikova and Alekhina wait behind bars in a Moscow courtroom.
A Moscow judge on Friday ordered three members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot to remain in jail awaiting trial for an anti-Putin performance in Moscow’s major church, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, in February.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina have been imprisoned since March on charges of hooliganism.
Leaders of the Orthodox church and Putin’s administration want the women to stay behind bars, but a number of their followers are calling for the musicians’ release. Pretrial hearings are due to continue next week.
Pussy Riot erupted on the scene amid a wave of protest over Putin’s re-election as president. With bright balaclavas, rabid punk anthems and explicitly anti-government lyrics, they helped enliven Russia’s growing urban protest movement.
… Many religious Russians who initially took offence at Pussy Riot’s church stunt have since called for their release. A poll released on Friday by the Levada Centre, an independent pollster, showed that 50% of Muscovites surveyed were against pursuing the criminal case against the three women, while 36% supported it.