KyivPost

Topless FEMEN activist greets Russian patriarch in Ukraine

Print version
July 26, 2012, 4:16 p.m. | Ukraine — by Reuters

A topless activist of Ukraine women's movement FEMEN protests against the visit of Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill (R) upon his arrival at the airport in Kyiv on July 26, 2012.
© AFP

Reuters

A bare-breasted young woman lunged at the head of Russia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, on Thursday, screaming "Begone!" minutes after his plane landed in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

The protester, an activist of local women's rights group Femen, famous for its topless protests, was intercepted and led away by security guards. The slogan "Kill Kirill" was written on her back.

Femen said in a statement they were protesting against the "illegal arrest" and "shameful trial" of the three members of Russian female punk group Pussy Riot who derided President Vladimir Putin in a protest in Moscow's main cathedral in February.

The women, who have been held in pre-trial custody for almost five months, face up to seven years in jail on charges of hooliganism for storming the altar in multi-coloured masks to sing a "punk prayer" to the Virgin Mary to "Throw Putin Out!"

Femen activist Yana Zhdanova, who appeared at Kirill's greeting ceremony as a stringer for a local newspaper, was detained and faced hooliganism charges, Interfax news agency quoted police as saying.

Patriarch Kirill arrived in Ukraine to take part in celebrations of the anniversary of ancient Russia's conversion to Christianity on July 27-28.

Although Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion in Ukraine, its Orthodox church is split into two branches, one of which refuses to recognise the Moscow Patriarchate as a superior authority.

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively public debate through the Disqus system. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. The Kyiv Post will ban flagrant violators. If you think that a comment or commentator should be banned, please flag the offending material.
comments powered by Disqus

KyivPost

© 1995–2014 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.