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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. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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