I t's not every day that a women's rights group from eastern Europe makes it into the Sun. But it's no surprise that the redtop made an exception for Femen last year. Its twentysomething Ukrainian campaigners regularly go topless with flowers in their hair, have worn bikinis made from surgical masks, and even mud-wrestled to draw attention to their cause, since they launched in — causing outrage among feminists and traditionalists alike. Yet today Femen's almost weekly protests are so successful it is planning to expand into Europe. Founded by Anna Hutsol, Femen began as a campaign against the explosion of prostitution and sex tourism in Ukraine sparked by the collapse of the Soviet Union in , and intensified by the arrival of budget airlines and a depressed economy. As its popularity grew, Femen took on issues as diverse as vote-rigging and the stoning sentence meted out to Iranian Sakineh Ashtiani. The next protest, on 26 April, is timed to coincide with the anniversary of Chernobyl when Russian politicians will be visiting Ukraine. Inna Shevchenko, 20, a spokeswoman for the group, admits no one was listening before they started stripping off. We don't have people to promote or help us, or big money.
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Police in Ukraine have vowed to charge the parents of six young girls who took part in a 'lingerie for children' fashion shoot. The girls, aged eight to 14, were photographed wearing lacy underwear and shawls as part of a promotional campaign for fashion label Alla Frenkel's new line. Frenkel's, which is based in Odessa, published the images on its website where they were branded 'sickening' for sexualising children. Police say they intend to charge the parents of six girls who took part in a photo shoot for a range of 'children's lingerie' made by Ukrainian fashion designer Alla Frenkel centre. The images were uploaded to Frenkel's online shop where they caused a huge public backlash for 'sexualising children'. User's took issue with both the products the girls were modelling and the 'adult' facial expressions and body poses they pulled. Frenkel was also planning a catwalk show featuring the same girls, though its future is now in doubt.