News / Europe

Topless Protesters Demonstrate Against Putin

A topless demonstrator with written messages on her back walks towards Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R)  during the opening tour at the Hannover Fair, Hannover, Germany,  April 8, 2013.
A topless demonstrator with written messages on her back walks towards Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) during the opening tour at the Hannover Fair, Hannover, Germany, April 8, 2013.
Bare-breasted women protested against Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Hannover, Germany, during an industrial exhibit he attended with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Putin said he liked it, but a Kremlin spokesman is now calling for the ladies to be punished.

Three members of the women’s rights group Femen took off their tops and shouted slogans against Putin. The demonstrators called Putin a dictator. Protesters also scrawled anti-Putin messages across their backs, many of which included swear words and called for the president to leave Russia.

Despite the women being topless and hostile towards his leadership, the Russian president said he enjoyed the event. Putin said he knew about the protest in advance and said he liked it. He said the public should thank them for helping to advertise the event he was attending with Merkel.

The Femen activists are from Ukraine and have staged protests around Europe against the Kremlin’s arrest and detention of members of the all-female punk band Pussy Riot around Europe.

Putin said he didn’t find the protest horrible, but doesn’t think it had a political affect. He said if someone wants to debate political issues, it’s better to be dressed when you do it and not take your clothes off. Putin went on to say that people should take their clothes off in other places.

After Putin’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the protesters' actions ordinary hooliganism. Peskov went on to say that these sort of actions happen all over the world and the ladies need to be punished. A charge of hooliganism carries up to eight years in prison in Russia.

Since Putin took office nearly a year ago, Russia has seen a crackdown on dissent. The fines for organizing or participating in protests against the Kremlin have risen more than 150-fold.

Foreign non-governmental organizations have also been required to register as foreign agents, a term that during the Soviet period was synonymous with espionage.

On Sunday, Merkel said Russia needed an active civil society and freedom for NGOs.

The Kremlin has consistently maintained that it is not cracking down on dissent, merely enforcing the law.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: george from: nashville
April 09, 2013 5:39 AM
Putin can't possibly buy better PR than that picture!

In Response

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
April 09, 2013 8:18 AM
Thank you very much for you observation. I completely agree with you. The article and picture are masterpieces.
The picture reveals all one would like to know about what is Mr. Putin from inside.


by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
April 08, 2013 9:37 PM
I praise the brave girl for their courage and their political message about twelve years as Rights and Freedoms of Man and Citizen stipulated in articles 17.1, 22.1, 27, 29.1,29.5,31, 56.1 of Russian Constitution are denied for Russian people. It’s open hypocrisy by Mr. Putin about possible political debate in FSB-ruled Russia after he has silenced all people, all NGOs having their say on gross abuse of democracy in Russia.

In Response

by: Igor from: Russia
April 09, 2013 2:07 AM
Hey, Gennady, if you think it is a good idea for any russian girl to remove all her clothes like a stripper in order to protest against anything I do not know what kind of man you are and what kind of democracy are you promoting. Sacrifying a woman's dignity in order to get something is not the virtue of russian women. Dare you wear nothing in a protest?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid