Police detain girls in balaclavas near Cathedral of Christ the Savior

Two women wearing so-called balaclavas were detained by police near the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on Thursday morning, a source in the law enforcement agencies told Interfax.

The press service for the Moscow police told Interfax that "two persons were taken to a police station in central Moscow for public order violations on Thursday."

"They will be released after a preventive conversation," the press service said. In the meantime, Novaya Gazeta reported on its website that the women are Yelena Volkova and Irina Karatsuba, who were detained by police while trying to lay down tulips on the anniversary of the "punk prayer" conducted by the feminist punk group Pussy Riot a year ago.

Pussy Riot band members performed an anti-Putin "punk prayer" at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on February 21, 2012. The performance and the trial caused a wide public reaction, both nationally and internationally. Three singers - Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich - were detained on hooliganism charges. The girls refused to plead guilty; they said it was a political action and they did not intend to offend believers.

The Moscow City Court later changed Samutsevich's sentence to suspended.

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