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Femen protesters held after topless protest in Crimea

Ukrainian police officers detain a topless activist of the Ukrainian women movement Femen, protesting against the war in front of Crimea's parliament during a pro-Russian rally in Simferopol today. – AFP pic.Ukrainian police officers detain a topless activist of the Ukrainian women movement Femen, protesting against the war in front of Crimea's parliament during a pro-Russian rally in Simferopol today. – AFP pic.Two Femen protesters were arrested in Crimea's capital Simferopol today after staging a topless demonstration against Russia's intervention in Ukraine in front of the regional parliament.

One protester was stopped by police within seconds while another ran around, repeatedly shouting "Stop Putin's War", which she had also written across her chest.

She was eventually detained and taken away in a van by security forces, while some people who had been watching the protest shouted: "Prostitutes!"

The nationalities of the two young women were not immediately known.

With pro-Russian forces in control of Crimea, the peninsula's parliament today set a referendum for March 16 on whether it should become part of Russia.

Lawmakers also asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to examine a request for the region to join the country.

Crimea is an autonomous republic of Ukraine but was part of Russia until Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine as a "gift" in 1954.

The move was largely meaningless during Soviet times, as both Ukraine and Russia were republics in the Soviet Union. – AFP, March 6, 2014.

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