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Ukraine Police Claim Weapons Found in Femen Office

W460

Ukrainian police said on Tuesday they had found weapons in the offices of feminist movement Femen, which the group denied and slammed as the latest provocation by the authorities.

Kiev police released a statement, saying that police had received an anonymous call saying that explosives had been planted at an address in the Ukrainian capital, which is where the Femen group's office is located.

Bomb disposal technicians were dispatched to the premises, the statement said without mentioning the group's name.

"During the search of the premises law enforcement members have confiscated objects that look like a TT handgun and a grenade," it said.

Anna Hutsol, the head of the Ukrainian branch of the movement, told Agence France Presse that police claimed to have found a hand gun, a grenade and portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.

"This is a provocation. We did not have any weapons," Hutsol said, adding that the weapons might have been planted in the office during the absence of the group's activists.

The group published photographs showing policemen taking pictures of the weapons and Putin and Patriarch Kirill's portraits during the search.

Femen's female activists have become well-known in Ukraine and abroad for baring their breasts to protest discrimination against women and other rights violations.

They have declared Putin and Patriarch Kirill their top enemies and have repeatedly heckled both men.

Three members of the group along with a photographer were beaten up by unidentified men and held in police custody overnight in late July when Putin visited Ukraine.

The group blamed the attack on Ukrainian and Russian special services.

Earlier this month, Femen claimed that Hutsol and two other activists had again been beaten up by special services in the latest attack by the government aimed at pressuring them to halt their protests.

Putin was met with a bare-breasted Femen protest when he visited a trade fair in Germany in April alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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