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13May

Topless protester grabs Euro trophy

A Ukrainian women’s rights activist stripped to the waist and seized the Euro 2012 trophy while it was on public display in Kiev in a protest against the forthcoming month-long championship.

The young woman, 23-year-old Yulia Kovpachik, is a member of the Kiev-based Femen women’s rights group which believes the Euro 2012 tournament being played in Ukraine next month will encourage sex tourism.

Kovpachik strode up to the silver, two-feet high trophy, which was on display as a tourist attraction in an open air exhibition in central Kiev, ostensibly to be photographed alongside it like hundreds of other sightseers.

But she then pulled down her red T-shirt to reveal the words “F*** Euro 2012” scrawled on her torso. As she grabbed hold of the cup with both hands, she was seized by security guards, who appeared to have had advanced warning of the protest. They covered her with a sheet and took her off to a waiting police car.

The protest appeared to be the first action in a campaign against the championship by Femen which regularly stages bare-breast protests in Ukraine – and sometimes beyond – to highlight what it sees as political injustice, social abuse and the exploitation of women in Ukraine.

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