Pussy Riot solidarity: Topless Ukrainian activist chainsaws crucifix (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Pussy Riot solidarity: Topless Ukrainian activist chainsaws crucifix (PHOTOS, VIDEO)



The leader of the Ukrainian activist group Femen took a chainsaw to a cross in Kiev in protest of Pussy Riot’s trial. Demonstrations showing solidarity for the Punk band have sprung up worldwide on the day of Pussy Riot’s verdict.

Police have launched a criminal investigation into the felling of the crucifix that stood on Independence Hill in front of Kiev’s central square.

The feminist movement who recorded and took photos of the act of vandalism said it was a sign of solidarity for “the victims of a medieval witch hunt.”

“We want to show the authorities that no imbecile has the right to trample on freedom of speech and the rights of women and shut them [Pussy Riot] away in jail,” said a spokeswoman from the movement.

The symbolic felling of the cross has been dubbed as a “Trash Prayer,” inspired by Pussy Riot’s iconic “Punk Prayer.”

Reuters / Anatolii Stepanov
Reuters / Anatolii Stepanov

Pussy Riot have been found guilty of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after a high profile court case that has gripped the attention of world media for the past few months.

Femen said the “Trash Prayer” was a “warning” to President Putin and Patriarch Kirill that Femen would come after “the jerks responsible for their [Pussy Riot’s] suffering with a chainsaw.”

This is not the first time that Femen have rallied in support of Pussy Riot. One of the members of the feminist movement was taken into custody after parading topless around Kiev’s Borispol airport at the time of the arrival of Patriarch Kirill. She shouted – “get out of here!” and accused Patriarch Kirill of “unlawfully arresting” the anti-Putin activists.

The scantily-clad activists also voiced their disapproval, climbing to the bell tower of a Kiev church and sounding what they called an alarm “warning the city of a Mafioso conspiracy between church and state.”

The Femen movement has gained renown for their hysterical topless protests against all manner of social and political issues.

However, critics have lampooned the group, accusing them of using societal problems as a platform for self-promotion and being indifferent to real changes.

The movement has had a number of criminal investigations launched into its controversial actions, including hooliganism and desecration of state symbols.

The far-right All-Ukrainian Union “Svoboda,” or Freedom, has vowed to restore the cross, which was erected as a memorial to the victims of political oppression at the hands of the Soviet secret police under Stalin.

“Today’s act of vandalism against the memory of victims of political repression showed that nonhumans have crossed the line and set themselves against the whole Ukrainian community, as almost every Ukrainian family was repressed by the communist regime,”  the party’s deputy head Andrey Mohnik said.

Global support

Pussy Riot sympathizers around the world also rallied in support of the group on Friday. In London protesters gathered outside the Russian embassy, some dressed as band members in anticipation of the ruling.

In New York, some 40 people marched from the Russian Consulate on Manhattan’s Upper East Side to Times Square in a solidarity protest against the ruling. Six people were arrested for wearing masks. It is illegal for groups of three or more people to wear masks in New York City, except for on October 31, Halloween.

While as far afield as Brazil and Australia supporters donned balaclavas in solidarity of the punk trio.

In the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo three women had to be forcefully dragged from the steps of the Russian consulate.

Watch photos from worldwide rallies to support Pussy Riot in RT’s Galleries

Reuters / Anatolii Stepanov
Reuters / Anatolii Stepanov
AFP Photo / Genya Savilov
AFP Photo / Genya Savilov
AFP Photo / Genya Savilov
AFP Photo / Genya Savilov

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