A Futile Protest

Femen is a feminist group that began in Ukraine but seems to have spread to other European countries. It is known for staging topless protests, and is distinguished from some others of this ilk by the fact that many of its members are quite fetching. Topless protests are an easy way to garner publicity–hey, I’m writing about one–but their actual effectiveness is doubtful. Today, Femen staged a topless protest against Vladimir Putin, who is in Germany meeting with Angela Merkel.

Protesting Vladimir Putin with nudity is akin to threatening Barack Obama with a round of golf. Asked later about the incident, Putin said that he “liked it.” The protesters called him a “dictator,” but he claimed not to have been able to make out what they were saying. Still, while the demonstration utterly failed to abash Putin–who also gave one of the Femen girls two thumbs up–it did have some entertainment value:

And here is the video. Putin’s security detail doesn’t fool around. You can’t see it in this video, but a woman who was part of the security team had what looked like an AR-15 trained on the protesters:

In the end, Femen achieved the unintended, and unlikely, result of making Putin look good. “It is better to be dressed if one wants to discuss political matters,” he said, sensibly.

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