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Pussy Riot Release Glam New Video Ahead Of Moscow Protest

"We're calling on people to follow the example of the witches and come out onto Manezhka and fly in the direction of the Kremlin," group member Nadya Tolokonnikova tells BuzzFeed News.

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Masha Alekhina and Nadya Tolokonnikova, the two best known members of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot, have released a new video calling Russians to demonstrate outside the Kremlin on Tuesday as a court begins to read a verdict against opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

Here's the glam video, a departure from the group's previous raw sound and footage. It's called "The Witches of Pussy Riot Are Cleaning Manezhka," the name of the square outside the Kremlin where protesters will gather on Tuesday.

View this video on YouTube

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Alekhina and Tolokonnikova are joined in the clip by opposition activist Maria Baronova and journalist and LGBT activist Elena Kostyuchenko. The song features just four words repeated over and over: "Clean. Honest. Word. Deed." The women don't wear balaclavas, the look for which they have become known.

"This is above all a propaganda video," Tolokonnikova told BuzzFeed News by email from Moscow. "We're calling on people to follow the example of the witches and come out onto Manezhka and fly in the direction of the Kremlin."

She said the group came up with the idea after Russian prosecutors demanded a 10 year sentence for Navalny, who is charged with fraud in the latest government case against him. He denies all charges, as does his brother, who has been tried alongside him.

"Right away we felt long forgotten — we felt that we couldn't not say something," Tolokonnikova said. The group released its last video during the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February. During that shoot, the group was attacked and detained. It was their first video since being released early from prison in December of last year — they had been sentenced to two years in prison on charges of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" following a performance against Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church. Since then, the group has founded a local media outlet focusing on abuses in Moscow prisons, and has spent much of the year traveling the world, meeting with activists, artists and appearing in photo shoots in outlets like Vogue.

The video, Tolokonnikova said, shows a woman getting ready for an important date — which, it turns out, is cleaning the square for the Manezhka protest. "In this way, it's a play on the classic stereotype that for girls/princesses/Cinderellas, the most important thing is a prince/date/man, and the place of the prince is taken by politics," she said.

Around 15,000 people have signed up to a Facebook event advertising the protest after a Moscow court suddenly changed the date of Navalny's verdict from Jan 15. to Tuesday.

Miriam Elder is the world editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 5B5F EC17 C20B C11F 226D 3EBE 6205 F92F AC14 DCB1

Contact Miriam Elder at miriam.elder@buzzfeed.com.

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