KyivPost

Ukrainian activist cuts down cross in Pussy Riot protest

Print version
Aug. 17, 2012, 1:25 p.m. | Ukraine — by Reuters

A topless Femen activist chops down a Christian cross in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev with a power saw on August 17
© femen.livejournal.com

A topless women's rights activist chopped down a Christian cross in the centre of the Ukrainian capital Kiev with a power saw on Friday to protest against the prosecution of Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot.

The protest came as a Russian court was due to deliver a verdict on three band members for performing a political "punk prayer" at the altar of Moscow's main cathedral - a case that has been criticised by free-speech advocates around the world.

To show support for Pussy Riot, a member of Ukrainian group Femen, which regularly stages bare-breasted shock performances, destroyed a large wooden cross bearing the figure of the crucified Christ, erected in 2005.

"No business, not even one as successful as the church, has the right to attack women's rights," activist Inna Shevchenko said after cutting down the cross, "Free Riot" written across her chest. There were no police at the scene.

Femen's move is certain to trigger outrage among religious groups in the country where Orthodox Christianity is the main religion.

It represented a departure for Femen activists who have mainly confined their activities to baring their breasts at public events to highlight their campaign against prostitution and sex tourism.

When Ukraine hosted the European soccer championship in June - a popular event that many Ukrainians saw as recognition of the country's place in the European mainstream - Femen used the event to stage high-visibility protests.

Femen activists attempted to steal the championship's trophy and held several protests in the official Kiev "fan zone" where thousands of foreign tourists were massed. 

The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/kyivpost/. The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.

KyivPost

© 1995–2015 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.