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Pavlova said most hooliganism in Russia is committed when people are drunk and they often regret what they have done, but the defendants “thoroughly planned, rehearsed (their performance) and were fully aware of what they were doing.”

“And they had the audacity to say in court that they did the right thing, that it’s OK and that they’re ready to keep on doing such things,” Pavlova said.

Tolokonnikova chuckled as Pavlova mentioned in her speech that feminism in Russia is incompatible with Orthodox faith.

Pussy Riot lawyer Violetta Volkova voiced the band’s complaint that the women had been deprived of sleep and food throughout the trial, describing it as “torture.”

“In this trial, the authorities, not the girls, have dealt a crushing blow to the Russian Orthodox Church,” Volkova said. “Time has turned back _ back to the Middle Ages.”

Mark Feygin, a lawyer for the band, argued that a guilty verdict would “break a bond between the government and the people for good” and that “society will never forgive the state for persecuting the innocent.”

Orthodox leaders have ignored calls by many believers for the women to be pardoned and the case dismissed.

Archdeacon Andrei Kurayev, an influential Orthodox blogger and professor at the Moscow Theological Academy, warned in an interview with the RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday that jail time for the three would “turn them into martyrs” and would only feed hostility toward the church.

Meanwhile, Russian Internet users were fuming over a video of Putin visiting a monastery in northern Russian on Monday where a priest kneeled down to kiss his hand.

Though Putin was visibly annoyed by the display of deference, many Russians felt it accurately portrayed a too-cozy relationship between the Kremlin leader and the Orthodox church.

The church said that the priest was from Macedonia, where it’s not unusual for men of the cloth to kiss the hands of laymen as a sign of humility.