Topless protester greets Russian patriarch in Ukraine

KIEV Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:12am EDT

Head of the dominant Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill (R), attends a welcoming ceremony as he arrives at Borispol airport, near the Ukrainian capital of Kiev July 26, 2012. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Head of the dominant Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill (R), attends a welcoming ceremony as he arrives at Borispol airport, near the Ukrainian capital of Kiev July 26, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Gleb Garanich

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KIEV (Reuters) - A bare-breasted young woman lunged at the head of Russia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, on Thursday, screaming "Begone!" minutes after his plane landed in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

The protester, an activist of local women's rights group Femen, famous for its topless protests, was intercepted and led away by security guards. The slogan "Kill Kirill" was written on her back.

Femen said in a statement they were protesting against the "illegal arrest" and "shameful trial" of the three members of Russian female punk group Pussy Riot who derided President Vladimir Putin in a protest in Moscow's main cathedral in February.

The women, who have been held in pre-trial custody for almost five months, face up to seven years in jail on charges of hooliganism for storming the altar in multi-colored masks to sing a "punk prayer" to the Virgin Mary to "Throw Putin Out!"

Femen activist Yana Zhdanova, who appeared at Kirill's greeting ceremony as a stringer for a local newspaper, was detained and faced hooliganism charges, Interfax news agency quoted police as saying.

Patriarch Kirill arrived in Ukraine to take part in celebrations of the anniversary of ancient Russia's conversion to Christianity on July 27-28.

Although Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion in Ukraine, its Orthodox church is split into two branches, one of which refuses to recognize the Moscow Patriarchate as a superior authority.

(Reporting by Gleb Garanich; Editing by Myra MacDonald)

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Comments (1)
Neil_McGowan wrote:
Sadly it will take more than a topless girl to remove the pseudo-patriarch Kirill.

He and his henchman Chaplin are paid officers in the FSB – the successor organisation to the KGB (where they both previously served).

This shameless thug isn’t a churchman. He’s a personal comrade of Putin and an agent of State repression.

BEGONE, indeed, Kirill! YOU ARE HATED THROUGHOUT RUSSIA!!

Jul 26, 2012 9:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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