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Pussy Riot readies for verdict in Moscow court

Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP - Getty Images

Members of the all-girl punk band "Pussy Riot" (left to right)Yekaterina Samutsevich, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, are escorted by policewomen in Moscow on Agust 17.

Sergey Ponomarev / AP

Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia on Friday, Aug 17.

Update: 10:03 am ET: The three band members were found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison

Today a Moscow court will pass judgement on the three women from a punk band called, Pussy Riot, who captured the world's attention by defying the Russian authorities and ridiculing President Vladimir Putin in a church. Pussy Riot release rallies have stretched from Sydney to New York as a growing list of celebrities joined ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and pop icon Madonna in a campaign directed against Putin's crackdown on dissent. The women, two of whom have young children, are charged with hooliganism connected to religious hatred but the case is widely seen as a warning that authorities will only tolerate opposition under tightly controlled conditions. T-shirt on right worn by Tolokonnikova is Spanish and translates to "They shall not pass", a slogan often used to express determination to defend a position against an enemy.

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Three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot remain in jail after a performance in protest of Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral. NBC's Michelle Kosinski reports.