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Russia's Putin: Pussy Riot duo to be freed despite 'disgraceful' protest

• NBC News

MOSCOW – Two jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot will be freed under an amnesty that will also see the release of 30 environmental activists, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, eliminating two points of tension with the West as the country gets set to host the Winter Olympics.

In a surprise move, Putin also pledged to free one of his most prominent foes, oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has spent a decade in jail after falling out with the Russian leader.   

"I feel sorry for Pussy Riot not for the fact that they were jailed, but for disgraceful behavior that has degraded the image of women,” Putin said during his annual and wide-ranging televised news conference.

 

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