Pussy Riot faced no problems getting visa to come to Singapore

Ms Nadezhda (Nadya) Tolokonnikova and Ms Maria Alyokhina from dissident Russian music/art collective Pussy Riot say they did not have trouble coming to Singapore to attend the inaugural Prudential Eye Awards.

In an exclusive interview with local media The Straits Times Life!, the pair say they faced no visa application problems. The pair and fellow activist Yekaterina Samutsevich were convicted on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after staging a "punk prayer" in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in February 2012.

The duo were recently released from jail in December last year following a Kremlin-backed amnesty bill. Their work was nominated in the digital/video category of the awards, but they did not win. They say not winning the award does not bother them the least bit.

'It's not important to us,'' explains Ms Tolokonnikova.

''We are people who engage in social issues and political activism. Art is a means through which we can speak. This is a good chance for us to meet with you, to visit Asia, and to make contacts here.''

brynasim@sph.com.sg

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