Nude protest before Euro final
Kiev - Six members of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen held a bare-breasted protest in Kiev on Sunday against a visit by Belarussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko to watch the Euro 2012 final.
The women stripped off their tops in front of Kiev's Olympic stadium that will host the soccer final, with several wearing balaclavas and brandishing rubber batons in a reference to Lukashenko's crackdowns on protesters.
One woman sported a wig and a fake moustache to make her resemble the man once described by the United States as "Europe's last dictator", who is subject to a European Union-wide travel ban over rights abuses.
Several women displayed the slogan "Respect, KGB, UEFA" scrawled on their bare chests, criticising the tournament's organisers for tolerating Lukashenko's presence.
"Once more UEFA is showing a total lack of scruples," the all-women group, which specialises in topless protests and has held a number of demonstrations against the soccer tournament, said in a statement.
The Belarussian ambassador to Ukraine said this week that Lukashenko would meet Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Sunday and attend the Euro final.
On Saturday, Lukashenko's spokesman confirmed that the Belarussian leader had been invited to Kiev but declined to comment on whether he would be at the stadium, the Interfax news agency reported.
On Sunday, the press service of the Ukrainian president was unable to confirm or deny Lukashenko's visit to AFP.
Femen, which has around 300 activists in Kiev, is known for its provocative stunts to highlight rights abuses, particularly targeting the exploitation of women by prostitution and sex tourism.