Oksana Shachko, one of three co-founders of the FEMEN movement, has committed suicide in her Paris apartment after two previous attempts.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Paris, FEMEN gained international fame for its topless protests against sexism, prostitution, political corruption, religious institutions, homophobia and other social issues. After fleeing Ukraine in 2013, the organization has since branched out to several other countries.
Shachko, 31, was one of the group’s most famous faces among the group – which call their form of protest “sextremism”; listed on the FEMEN website as “female sexuality rebelling against patriarchy and embodied in the extremal political direct action events.”
At the beginning, the members of the group used bikinis or covered their nipples with adhesive tape. It was precisely Oksana Shachko, in August 2009, who first discarded the bra during a demonstration in Kiev. In October 2010, Shachko showed her buttocks in front of a public toilet to protest the shortcomings and shortages of this service. “It was just an experiment, but later we understood how powerful it was,” she said in 2015. –El Mundo
A statement on the FEMEN website reads: “Yesterday, July 23, they found Oksana’s body in her apartment in Paris, according to her friends, she left a suicide note. Rest in peace the bravest and most vulnerable, Oksana Shachko has left us… We mourn together with their family and friends and await the official version of the police.”
During Schachko’s first major rally, FEMEN used the slogan “Ukraine is not a brothel,“ in protest of the country’s sex industry.
In 2013, FEMEN protester Alexandra Shevchenko stripped to the waist to protest an amused Vladimir Putin who was touring a trade fair in Hanover alongside German chancellor Angela Merkel. Putin took the whole thing in stride, while Merkel appeared a bit shocked.
In March, FEMEN protesters ambushed former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi at a polling station as he voted in the Italian elections.
Other politicians FEMEN have protested include Czech President Milos Zeman, France’s Marine Le Pen and in one case – Donald Trump, when one of the group’s members dressed up as the president outside the US embassy in Kiev.
The activist organization has repeatedly attempted to kidnap Baby Jesus from the nativity scene at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City during Christmas.