Russia's Pussy Riot says no regrets for church stunt

The jailed members of Russian all-girl punk band Pussy Riot said in an interview Friday they did not regret their protest against President Vladimir Putin as it revealed the "true face" of his regime.

In the interview with French magazine Elle, the trio also said they were convinced their appeal bid set to begin on October 1 would fail.

"I'm not crying and I do not blame anyone," band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova told the magazine. "No doubts, no regrets."

A Moscow court last month sentenced three members of Pussy Riot to two years in a labour camp for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred over a performance in Moscow's main cathedral.

In February, they staged a performance in Moscow's Christ the Saviour cathedral -- a "punk prayer" in which they called on the Virgin Mary to drive Putin from power.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, an ally of Putin, denounced the stunt as "blasphemous".

"Despite the massive media propaganda of Putin's system, more and more Russians are not willing to believe in this state and are beginning to hear us, the activists and protestors," Tolokonnikova said.

Fellow band member Yekaterina Samutsevich said the trial had "unmasked the true face of Putin."

But Samutsevich said she was "almost certain" their appeal bid would fail.

Third band member Maria Alyokhina said she dreamed of meeting her family and was trying to come to grips with prison life. "What's difficult for me is not being able to express myself," she said.

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