Masked members of protest band Pussy Riot leave a police station in Adler during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
Masked members of protest band Pussy Riot leave a police station in Adler during the 2014 Sochi Winter OlympicsReuters

The two Pussy Riot members who were arrested by Russian police in Sochi, the site of the Winter Olympics, have been released by police after a brief detention.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Mariya Alyokhina were detained by authorities as they were walking through central Sochi, along with other activists and journalists.

Police said they were being held in relation to a theft that occurred at a hotel they were staying at, but later informed them they were being treated as witnesses. The pair were finally released after a few hours of questioning.

Pussy Riot, who were released from prison in Russia in December in a surprising amnesty by Vladimir Putin, said officers used force while they were in detention.

Tolokonnikova said law enforcement officials threw her face-down on the floor of the station, twisting her arms behind her back.

Seven other people who were detained with the pair in Sochi have also been freed.

Tolokonnikova said she believes the real reason for the detention was linked to their plan to perform and record a music video for a new Pussy Riot song entitled Putin Will Teach You To Love The Motherland.

Upon release, the punk band members sported their trademark coloured backlavas and started singing their new anti-Putin song.