Russia Assigns Bodyguards to Judge Ahead of Verdict in Pussy Riot Trial

Russian authorities announced on Thursday that bodyguards have been assigned to protect the judge presiding over the trial of three members of the all-female protest band Pussy Riot, after unspecified threats. The authorities did not describe the threats to the judge, Marina Syrova, who is expected to announce a verdict and possible jail terms for the women on Friday.

The women have been in jail since March, shortly after the band staged an audacious protest against Russian leader Vladimir Putin inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The group posted a recording of that performance on YouTube, showing five women wearing brightly colored balaclavas, staging an impromptu performance before the alter of the cathedral, punctuated with three cries of, “Holy Mother, send Putin packing!”

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