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Femen Sentenced for Topless Protest

A Moscow court Monday upheld sentences ranging from five to 12 days for three activists from the Ukrainian group Femen who were detained for staging a topless protest at the polling station where Vladimir Putin cast his vote, their lawyer told RIA-Novosti.

Violetta Volkova said the court dismissed arguments that the action was a political protest and said it considered it rank exhibitionism. They were convicted of disorderly conduct.

Earlier, the Federal Migration Service had prepared paperwork to expel the women, Interfax reported. In addition to their jail terms, the women will be barred from entering Russia for up to five years, police said.

The women stripped to the waist and began to yell anti-Putin slogans about 20 minutes after Putin and his wife cast their votes at the station. One activist had the words "I steal for Putin" written on her chest, and they yelled "Putin is a thief."

They were quickly removed from the polling station, though they resisted arrest.

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