Femen activists protest topless before Putin

Hanover (Germany), April 9 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Activists from the feminist group Femen launched another topless protest Monday, targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin as he opened an industrial fair in Hanover, Germany, the group said on its Twitter feed.

German media said four women, with obscenities in English and Russian daubed on their breasts, broke through security as Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were examining a stand at the fair.

“Sextremists from Femen have just carried out an anti-dictatorial attack on Putin,” the group said in a Russian-language Twitter message.

One member of the group was detained, German media said.

“I liked it,” Putin commented later, when asked about the protest, adding that it would help to promote the fair. But he also noted that it was better to discuss politics “when clothed”.

“To be honest, I couldn’t hear very well what they were shouting,” Putin said, adding that he had not noticed if the girls were “blondes or brunettes”.

Putin came under sharp criticism in Germany ahead of his visit over unannounced inspections of foreign-funded NGOs. Merkel asked Putin to “give NGOs a chance,” earlier Monday.

Femen members previously bared their breasts in protest at Putin’s policies in March 2012, when three activists stripped to the waist at the polling station where Russia’s national leader had cast his vote at presidential polls.

However, the group missed Putin by some 20 minutes on that occasion.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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