Russian President Vladimir Putin has branded the behaviour of jailed Pussy Riot punks Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina "humiliating for women" as they prepare to leave prison. The Pussy Riot stars, who were jailed for two years in 2012 following a protest in a Moscow church, are to be released as part of an amnesty to mark the 20th anniversary of the country's post-Soviet constitution. Putin, who was the target of the punk stars' protest, insists he feels "pity" for them because the feminist collective has "started to engage in activities which are humiliating for women," according to British newspaper The Daily Telegraph. He added, "It's just a PR campaign but they crossed a line... The court decided to punish them, not for that, but for other actions... The amnesty has nothing to do with... this band... We need to humanise, to make our criminal code more humane to mark the 20 year anniversary of the constitution." The imprisoned women are due to be released from jail before New Year's Day as part of the approved presidential amnesty. A third member of the group, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was freed in October last year (12) when her sentence was commuted.