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Topless Protesters Surprise Putin in Germany

Published: April 8, 2013 (Issue # 1753)




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Up to several hundreds protesters, including three bare-breasted women, greeted President Vladimir Putin at the start of his two-day visit to Germany on Monday, when he also met with Chancellor Angela Merkel and participated in the opening of the Hanover Messe industrial trade show.

The crowd of protesters, which media variously estimated at between several dozen and several hundred people, harangued Putin over Pussy Riot's jailing, restrictions on gays, and the unsolved killings of journalists, as well as the Kremlin's tacit support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

But the most eye-catching protest involved three topless protesters from the radical feminist group Femen, one of whom got within arms-length of Putin and Merkel, startling the German leader, while an apparently unfazed Putin gave the woman a "two thumbs up" gesture.

"I liked the stunt," he later told reporters. Putin said he didn't hear what the women said and suggested that bodyguards, who whisked them away, could have been "a bit gentler." "I didn't even see if they were blondes or brunettes or dark-haired," he said, Kommersant reported.

A Kommersant reporter at the scene offered a different account. "They heard and saw everything," Oleg Zinkovsky told Kommersant-FM radio. Photographs show that the women had "[expletive] dictator" written in Russian and English on their torsos.

The street protesters, too, apparently failed to get their message across. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the demonstrations as a "normal tradition in Germany" and said the Russian delegation had not even seen them, Itar-Tass reported.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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