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© RIA Novosti. Alexander Utkin

Bare-breasted protest wreaks havoc at poll

by at 06/03/2012 17:07

Activists from the Ukrainian Femen protest group were detained in Moscow after they staged a topless protest at the polling station where winning candidate Vladimir Putin voted.

The court sentenced them from five to 12 days in prison, and the Ukrainian nationals could be banned from entering Russian territory for five years.

Three women were detained for minor hooliganism at Moscow polling station No. 2079 on south Moscow’s Leninsky Prospekt, where Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila voted Sunday morning.

They snuck into the station under the guise of journalists before stripping off their tops to reveal the words “Steal for Putin” written across their bare breasts. The stunt was carried out in support of fair elections, they said.

“After the prime minister voted, three girls, Ukrainian nationals, appeared at the stations and started to strip,” head of the Moscow Election Committee, Valentin Gorbunov, told Interfax.

Putin’s election headquarters said they did not intend to take out any additional measures against Femen.

One of the women could be banned from Russia for five years, Russian Interior Ministry said later.

“One of the three detained nationals of Ukraine has already been detained for hooliganism before. If the court finds her guilty of a similar crime, the case will be sent to Federal Migration Service,” Interior Ministry spokesperson told Interfax.

Current Russian legislation allows the migration service to apply to a court for permission to ban the woman from Russia for five years.

The young women’s lawyer said he had appealed the sentence and demands that the case is closed based on the fact that the protocol “was filled in by one person, and signed by another one.” He also complained that the court did not hear any witnesses in her defence, but heard everyone representing the prosecution.

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