KIEV, Ukraine, June 9 (UPI) -- Three topless feminists staged a mock throat-slitting outside a former Ukrainian official's trial, saying both sides were cutting each other's throat.
The women, members of the Ukrainian protest group Femen, said their action -- observed by journalists, photographers and several dozen supporters of former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko -- was meant to point to the corruption among current and former Ukrainian politicians.
Lutsenko, 46, was arrested Dec. 13 and charged with abuse of office and forgery for allegedly illegally employing and giving an apartment and pension to his former driver.
He and his political allies said his arrest and imprisonment were political persecution and revenge by the government of President Victor Yanukovych.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka denied any political motive.
Lutsenko went on a hunger strike April 22 to May 24 to protest his "preventive punishment."
One protester told the Ukrainian Russian-language weekly news magazine Focus the group believed Lutsenko's "arrest and persecution" was "an indicator of the two clans that are hindering Ukrainians from living normal, European-style lives."
"So we are waiting for these two clans to finally claw each other to death," the woman said.
Several police officers tried to detain the activists, but the women in their early 20s put their tops back on and avoided police, who were blocked by the Lutsenko supporters, witnesses said and video posted on YouTube indicated.
The women said the nudist aspect of their protest was simply to attract attention to an issue they cared about, RIA Novosti reported.