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

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid