Topless activists protested at the Hannover Messe whilst Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel were in attendance. While the Russian president appeared positively delighted, the Chancellor was not quite so pleased.
The half-naked activists were from the Ukrainian women's group "FEMEN," and were protesting against Russian President Vladimir Putin. The bare-breasted women ran screaming to Putin when he visited the Volkswagen stand with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The activists berated Putin as a dictator. One of them had covered her upper body with black paint and had written the words "fuck dictator" across her chest.
"I see nothing terrible here", Russian President Vladimir Putin stated calmly about the protests against his policies. Putin claimed at a joint press conference with Angela Merkel that he liked the actions of the bare-breasted women. "Without such behaviour there would be less talk about a fair like this (Hannover Messe)" he explained. "I don't see anything terrible about it."
The women had been stopped by bodyguards before they reached Putin. Merkel referred to the right of free demonstration here, however she criticized the form of protest. "I have my doubts on whether you need to resort to such a measure in Germany and not express your opinion in another way," she said. "There are also legal provisions. This is currently under review."
FEMEN is known worldwide for its trademark protests. Their main goal is the abolition of legal prostitution, although a myriad of other causes has found its home under the FEMEN umbrella.