Feminist activists detained over protest outside Kremlin


MOSCOW: A group of feminist activists was detained in Moscow on Wednesday, International Women’s Day, after protesting by the Kremlin walls with a banner reading “Men have been in power 200 years, down with them!”

OVD Info, a website that monitors detentions of activists, wrote that seven people were detained including two journalists from Novaya Gazeta opposition newspaper and a photographer and taken to a police station for questioning.

Rights lawyer Mari Davtyan wrote on Facebook that eight had been detained including journalists. One of the detained activists, performance artist Yekaterina Nenasheva, posted a video of the protest on Facebook showing the activists standing on top of an artificial grotto in a park by the Kremlin walls, holding smoke flares.

“Moscow and St Petersburg feminists who seized the Kremlin congratulate you on March 8,” Nenasheva wrote.

The activists’ banner referred to the fact that Russia’s last female ruler was Catherine the Great, who died in 1796, more than 200 years ago.

The TV Rain independent channel reported that the women also carried banners reading “A woman for president” and “We are the majority.”

The protest resembled those by punk group Pussy Riot, who in 2012 lit flares and sang a song about President Vladimir Putin on a platform on Red Square.

March 8 is a public holiday in Russia but is mainly celebrated by giving flowers and chocolates to women rather than stressing the need for gender equality.