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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs