Ukrainian feminists hold topless protest against Putin visit

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A group of Ukrainian women activists held a topless rally in Kiev on Wednesday to protest against a visit by Russian strongman prime minister Vladimir Putin, who arrived for energy talks.

Six activists from the FEMEN group held a protest in the centre of the Ukrainian capital, pumping their fists in the air and holding placards with racy slogans.

"We won't sleep with Kremlin dwarfs", one placard said in an apparent reference to Putin's modest height.

"You can't make us bend over that easily," read another one.

Putin met Ukraine's pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov for talks set to focus on possible price cuts for Russian gas imports to Ukraine.

After coming to power early this year, Yanukovych has promoted closer relations with Russia. In April he agreed a landmark deal to keep Russia's Black Sea fleet based in Crimea at least until 2042, a decision condemned by the opposition as selling out Ukraine's national interests.

"We are protesting against the interference of the Russian leaders in the internal affairs of our country," the movement's leader, Anna Gutsol, told AFP.

"After their visits, in Ukraine we see restrictions on media freedom and on the right to demonstrate, as is the case in Russia," she added.

The FEMEN group regularly holds topless protests. During the presidential poll early this year its members bared their breasts at a polling station just before Yanukovych was due to vote in front of cameras.


© 2010 AFP

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