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Pussy Riot members questioned for hotel theft

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Pussy Riot taken to jail and released

Pussy Riot taken to jail and released

Pussy Riot taken to jail and released

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Pussy Riot taken to jail and released

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SOCHI, Russia – Two members of the Russian female protest group Pussy Riot were questioned at a local police station after there was an alleged theft in the hotel they are staying in here near the Winter Olympics, according to Russian news service Interfax.

Sochi Police Headquarters told Interfax that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina of the punk rock band were  questioned at Adler police station along with other citizens after local police received a complaint from the hotel about a theft. The police statement says all residents of the hotel are being questioned.

After several hours Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina left police headquarters where a throng of media was waiting for them.

"A survey in connection with the theft at the Hotel Adler is completed, there is no claim against those questioned," police said in a statement.

Multiple outlets reported that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were arrested on suspicion of stealing from a hotel, including one RIA Novosti report that 30 to 40 officers were involved.

News of a detainment spread after the Twitter account of the radical left wing organization Gruppa Voina tweeted that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were detained near Sochi's port area, which is not designated as an official protest area.

[Watch: Behind the Sochi curtain - The hidden country of Abkhazia]

The account said, in Cyrillic, that the two women came to Sochi to hold an "event" with song titles such as "Putin will teach you to love motherland." It claims they were detained each of the last three days, including on Monday for 10 hours for suspicion of "theft."

Why the group didn't break news of those detentions immediately remains unclear. The Twitter account linked to Tolokonnikova claims force was used in the detentions, but who exactly is doing the tweeting is also unknown.

The woman in the photo below appears to be Tolokonnikova. Translated, it says she and two other Pussy Riot members are in a police station for being in Sochi.

Tolokonnikova told the Globe and Mail that the detainees still had access to their mobile phones and were updating their Twitter feeds throughout.

“At the time of our detention, we weren't engaged in any protests,” Tolokonnikova said.

Pussy Riot was arrested after the band performed a guerilla concert at Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2011 and released a music video from it titled "Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!" Two members – Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina – served 21 months in prison after being convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred," yet saw their position taken up by many in the West and Amnesty International.

Other members of the loosely formed group have also been jailed or fled the country over the past couple of years.

[Related: Canadian athlete deletes selfie with Vladimir Putin after backlash from back home]

Pussy Riot is anti-Putin and takes stances in favor of feminism, gay rights and other progressive issues. Putin supported their imprisonment claiming the group had "undermined the moral foundations" of Russia.

Members of the group had promised to disrupt the Games in some manner.

"If the Olympic Games go smoothly, then the Russian government will win," Katya Samutsevich told Yahoo Sports in July. "That is what we want. To be memorable. If we are noticed, so are the abuses we are trying to highlight."

Putin spent $51 billion to bring and construct the Winter Olympics here in the tropical community along the Black Sea. Any kind of civil unrest could be seen as an embarrassment to what had been a fairly smooth-running Games.

Watch Yahoo Sports' interview with Katya Samutsevich, a member of Pussy Riot:

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