Putin Protest, Russian President Vladimir Putin laughed off a protest against him by topless women in Germany on Monday, joking that he liked what he had seen while sharply rebuffing German criticism of his human rights record.
Three members of the women’s rights group Femen, which has staged protests against Russia’s detention of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot around Europe, disrupted his visit to a trade fair in the German city of Hanover focusing on Russian business.
They stripped to the waist and shouted slogans calling the Russian leader a “dictator” before being covered up and bundled away by security men.
Germany German Chancellor Angela Merkel confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin with her concerns about a crackdown on non-governmental organizations – and then topless demonstrators with obscene insults written on their chests assailed the Russian president at an industry fair in Germany.
As the two leaders toured the fair in Hannover, several activists from Ukraine’s Femen group, bared their torsos and shouted “Putin dictator!” before being detained by guards.
A smiling Putin shrugged off the protest.
“As for the action, I liked it,” he said. “You should be grateful to the girls, they are helping you make the fair more popular.”
Merkel was not amused. “Whether one has to resort to such an emergency measure in Germany and can’t say one’s piece some other way, I have my doubts,” she said.