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Pussy Riot goes to Washington

WASHINGTON — Two members of the Russian dissident punk group Pussy Riot have visited the Capitol and asked Congress to add 16 officials to the list of Russian human rights violators who face U.S. sanctions.

The two women (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina) told a throng of reporters Tuesday that under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is moving toward instability and chaos.

The pair was arrested in 2012 after staging an anti-Putin protest and served nearly two years in Russian prisons. One said the most dangerous thing for political prisoners is silence.

The two met privately for a half-hour with lawmakers, who told reporters afterward that the women were heroes.

The 16 people the women want sanctioned include Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Russia’s interior minister.

ASSOCIATED PRESS