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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

Wednesday, Sept. 17


AmCham’s Investment and Legal Committee Meeting convenes this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center at 9 a.m.


Learn more about the science of teaching English at today’s EFL Seminar hosted by the British Book Center. Revolving around the topic of learning styles, the workshop will help attendees better understand the different effective learning methods that can be implemented to learn English more effectively.



Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburg’s answer to the United States’ popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genre’s authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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