The Melbourne filmmaker, the topless Ukrainian feminists and a brush with the KGB

"Despite attempts to confirm Ms Green's arrest with the local authorities, the embassy did not receive any formal notification."

The Moscow embassy contacted the Belarus KGB and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an attempt to confirm the arrest, but received no official advice from them.

"The embassy was then able to get through to Ms Green on her mobile phone, when she informed us she was in the process of being released and departing Belarus."

Green returned to Kyiv the day after her arrest and spoke to the Femen trio about what had happened to them in the forest.

"I . . . heard from the girls that they [were told], 'If you say anything about this we will kill you.' And then they told everyone. The girls were terrified they'd come after them, and I was scared to be around them. I just thought, I'll get out of there."

Green then travelled to western Europe, where she has been spending time with friends.

She said she planned to return to Ukraine to finish her documentary. "I'm just an independent filmmaker having a weird experience in Ukraine and got swept up in this story. This is my first long-form film and it's sort of a topic I couldn't say no to, it's too weird and exciting. It's been a wild, crazy ride."

John Besemeres, adjunct fellow at the Centre for European Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra, said Belarus had become much more repressive over the past year, since Lukashenko's brutal crackdown against demonstrations over his re-election.

"They're very different, Belarus and Ukraine," he said. "It really is much worse in Belarus. It really is a neo-Stalinist country.” He described it as “a wretched place" where the secret police were very active.

"There's a lot of Soviet nostalgia, but not the good kind," and certainly not for former Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms.

Besemeres said it was generally far more dangerous for Belarusians than for Westerners. "Foreigners don't normally get caught up in it."

However, he said Belarusian authorities would have taken a dim view of Femen's protest on the anniversary of the election. "There's a kind of male chauvinist brutishness in terms of, 'Who are these hussies?'"

He said intelligence agencies may have monitored Green as she arrived in the country if they suspected she was involved with Femen.

"It's conceivable that she was a person of interest if she had been dealing with Femen for some time."

When told about Green's suspicions that she was being followed after her release, he said it was "very much likely".

Via: maroondahweekly.com.au


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About FEMEN

The mission of the "FEMEN" movement is to create the most favourable conditions for the young women to join up into a social group with the general idea of the mutual support and social responsibility, helping to reveal the talents of each member of the movement.

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