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Russian punks meet celebrity supporter Sinead O'Connor

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Feb 03, 2014 | 5:24am EST

Singer Sinead O'Connor met with former members of Pussy Riot in Ireland on Saturday (01Feb14) when they gave their first TV interview outside of Russia following their release from prison in December (13). Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina chatted with Irish TV host Brendan O'Connor on The Saturday Night Show about their time behind bars for performing a protest song against Russian President Vladimir Putin in a church in Moscow in 2012. The appearance gave them a chance to come face-to-face with one of their most outspoken celebrity supporters - Nothing Compares 2 U hitmaker O'Connor, who fired off a lengthy letter to Putin calling for the women's release two years ago. She even had the words 'Free Pussy Riot' shaved into her hair. The pair posed for a picture with O'Connor in the green room at the RTE studios in Dublin, but it is not known whether they had an in-depth chat about Russia's human rights records. At the time of their arrest, O'Connor told reporters, "People don't see any way out of what's going on economically or politically - not just in Russia but all over the world. But artists have recognised there is a way out and it's that we begin to realise the problem is spiritual, not economical or political. "These ladies are showing spiritual leadership in times of great crisis and that is the job of true artists." Tolokonnikova and Alekhina are gearing up to address the crowd at the upcoming Amnesty International concert in New York on Wednesday (05Feb14), where they will be introduced by Madonna.

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