Pussy Riot detained in Sochi

Updated: Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, along with 12 to 15 others, have been released

By Katie McDonough

Published February 18, 2014 1:52PM (EST)

Updated 2/18/14 10:53 a.m. ESTMaria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have been released.

Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were detained Tuesday in Sochi by Russian police.

The activists were planning a protest performance condemning Vladimir Putin and the Russian government's ongoing suppression of dissident voices.

A group of 10 plainclothes officials stopped Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova while they were meeting with journalists, according to a report from CNN; 12-15 people were arrested with them.

"They have been held over an alleged theft at a hotel," said the women's lawyer Alexander Popkov. "[Russian authorities] have refused to fully explain the reason for the detention."

Alyokhina tweeted about the encounter. "They dragged me across the floor of the police station assembly hall office by my face, they twisted my arms and threw me to the floor. Putin will teach you to love the motherland!" she said.

"No one identified concrete charges," said Irina Khrunova, another of the women's lawyers. "Right now, there is a lawyer there trying to find out."

More to come as this story develops.

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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