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Pussy Riot Members Expected to Go Free After Russia Passes Amnesty Bill

Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich AFP/Getty Images

Some good news for Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhinia and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.

Both ladies of the all-girl punk band will most likely be freed on Thursday, Dec. 19, after the Russian parliament passed an amnesty bill ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

"I feel sorry for Pussy Riot not for the fact that they were jailed, but for disgraceful behavior that has degraded the image of women," Putin said during a televised news conference, NBC News reports.

In March 2012, Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova and fellow band member Yekaterina Samutsevich were arrested after they stormed a Russian Orthodox church to perform a punk prayer "protest song" that blasted the religion's ties to Putin.

NEWS: Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in jail for hooliganism

Alyokhina and Toloknnikova were sent to prison after a judge upheld their two-year sentences for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. Samutsevich had also received the same sentence, but the conviction was later overturned after a court determined she was stopped by a guard and never made it to the church stage where the band's other members had performed. (The other two members of the band fled Russia.)

Alyokhina and Toloknnikova were originally scheduled to be released in March 2014, but are now expected to be set free sooner under the amnesty.

The band members' arrests and subsequent convictions galvanized activists around the world, who decried the move as an affront to democracy and a violation of human rights. The group received support from the likes of Madonna, Paul McCartney and Sting.

PHOTOS: Celebs get political

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