HomePoliticsWoman storms Cannes red carpet denouncing sexual violence in Ukraine

Woman storms Cannes red carpet denouncing sexual violence in Ukraine

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Written by Martin Goillandeau, CNN

A topless protester with blue and yellow paint across her chest and stomach ran onto the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday protesting sexual violence in Ukraine, video taken at the festival shows.

The unidentified woman is seen emerging from behind photographers and quickly removing her dress before making her way onto the carpet and shouting at cameras.

The activist had the colors of the Ukrainian flag painted on her upper body, as well as the words “stop raping us” painted on her chest and abdomen. She was also wearing white underwear covered by red paint that resembled blood.

Security guards quickly circled the woman and wrapped her in a jacket, before removing her from the event.

The French feminist group SCUM, self-described as “radical feminist activists and universalist blasphemers,” said on Instagram that one of their members went to the festival to “denounce the sexual torture suffered by Ukrainian women in the war.”

The protestor was addressing sexual violence in Ukraine, as Russia's invasion of the country rages on.

The protestor was addressing sexual violence in Ukraine, as Russia’s invasion of the country rages on. Credit: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

“She used the codes of FEMEN, as well as the aesthetics of the protest against the crimes committed by Russian soldiers lead in April by Estonian women in front of the Russian embassy,” SCUM’s Instagram post read.

CNN has reached out to the organizers of the festival for comment.

The United Nations has called for the increasing reports of rape and sexual violence against Ukrainian women and children during the Russian invasion of Ukraine to be independently investigated.

Last month, Sima Bahous, executive director of UN Women, called for a “gender-sensitive” humanitarian response.

“The combination of mass displacement with the large presence of conscripts and mercenaries, and the brutality displayed against Ukrainian civilians, has raised all red flags,” said Bahous.

She added that there had emerged an increased risk of human trafficking at border crossings, with young women and unaccompanied teenagers at particular risk.

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