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 VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs