Feminist Bares Breasts at Patriarch Kirill
- The Moscow Times
- Jul. 27 2012 00:00
- Last edited 13:30
Aátopless activist with a Kiev-based women's rights group threw herself atáRussian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill onáThursday, shouting "Go away!" before being detained byásecurity.
Theáincident occurred atáa Kiev airport shortly after theáhead ofáthe Russian Orthodox Church stepped off a business jet toábegin aáthree-day official visit toáUkraine.
The rights group, Femen, named Yana Zhdanova as theáactivist who had run up toáthe patriarch with theáwords "Kill Kirill" scrawled in black ink onáher bare back.
Zhdanova got within a few meters of a startled-looking Kirill and a delegation of clergymen before being restrained by a man in a cream-colored suit and matching shoes.
Femen, ináa statement posted onáits LiveJournal blog, accused Kirill ofáharming Ukraine's interests byátrying toádrag theácountry intoáa Eurasia union with Russia andáencouraging theáillegal detention ofáanti-Putin activistsá— a likely reference toáthe female Pussy Riot band members awaiting trial in Moscow over anáanti-government performance in Christ theáSavior Cathedral in February.
Church officials called theáactivist's behavior "shameful," recalling that theáchurch has always been theátarget ofásuch attacks.
"It is disgraceful that people are trying toácast aácloud over Patriarch Kirill's visit toáUkraine with pranks like this," Alexander Volkov, head ofáthe patriarch's press service, told Interfax.
Volkov said theáFemen activist's move showed that Kirill's visit toáUkraine is hugely significant andáreflected "the deep spiritual crisis inácertain layers ofásociety."
Femen has staged many topless protests in Ukraine and a few in other countries, including at Davos, Switzerland, to coincide with the World Economic Forum.