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Russia upholds ban on Pussy Riot's protest video

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Pussy Riot's appeal to reinstate the controversial protest video that landed three of the Russian feminist punk collective's members in prison has been denied by a Moscow city court, according to an Associated Press report.

The appeal, which was filed by Pussy Riot band member Yekaterina Samutsevich, contested a November ruling that the video in question, a filmed protest of Russian president Vladimir Putin that took place within a cathedral in February, was "extremist" in nature and should be banned from Russian websites. The country carries a law that allows its government to block any video that it deems to be neo-Nazi or pro-terrorist in nature, though it's vaguely defined and regularly faces scrutiny from government skeptics.

According to the AP, any Web provider who fails to block preexisting footage of the protest is subject to a $3,000 fine.

That said, the ruling does nothing to affect the video's standing on international websites—YouTube included, where it exists in multiple forms—many of which are accessible throughout Russia. So while the banning is good news for those who put a premium on Russian rules, it does little to actually bar people throughout the country from viewing it.

Two individuals who won't be accessing the clip anytime soon are Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. Those two Pussy Riot members remain behind bars as part of their two-year sentence.

Photo via Timurnechaev77/YouTube