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Pussy Riot plea for Putin pressure

Two members of the punk band Pussy Riot are urging politicians attending the Winter Olympics to criticise human rights abuses in Russia.

Appearing in Amsterdam during their world speaking tour, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova said today that Russian president Vladimir Putin "can be influenced by foreign political pressure" - but only statements made in public.

Ms Tolokonnikova said anything said to Mr Putin or his circle behind closed doors "they'll just nod their heads and ignore".

The two performers were sentenced in August 2012 to two years in prison for hooliganism after an irreverent performance blasting Mr Putin in Moscow's main cathedral.

They were released in December in what was widely seen as a political relations move ahead of the Olympics, which begin in Sochi, Russia, next week.

AP

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