Pussy Riot release new video protesting against sentence of Russia’s opposition leader – watch

Buy Tickets

Alexei Navalny and his brother have been convicted of theft

Pussy Riot have released a new video to protest against the treatment of Russia’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who received a suspended jail term today (December 30) for supposedly stealing 30 million roubles (£334,000) from French cosmetics company Yves Rocher.

Navalny was sentenced to a suspended three-and-a-half-year jail term. His brother Oleg, a former postal executive who has no history of dissidence against Russia’s rulers, was jailed for three-and-a-half years. Oleg’s sentence is believed to mark a return to the Soviet Union’s treatment of dissidents in the 1960s, when relatives would be punished instead.

Thousands of people are expected to protest against the sentencing tonight in Manezh Square, near the Kremlin headquarters of Russia’s parliament led by President Vladimir Putin. Ahead of the demonstration, Pussy Riot have released new 70-second song ‘Witches Of Pussy Riot Clean Manezh’, which sees the11-strong band don gowns to march around Manezh Square.

Former Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina served 21 months in prison for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” after they protested against the Russian Orthodox Church’s support for Putin during his election campaign in 2012. They were released in December 2013, but left the band two months later.

Alexei Navalny, who finished second in Moscow’s mayoral election in 2013, said: “The government isn’t just trying to jail its political opponents. We’re aware they do that and we’re used to it. This time, they’re destroying and torturing the families of those who oppose them.”