Protesters bare breasts at Putin's polling station

MOSCOW - A group of Ukrainian female protesters bared their breasts Sunday at the polling station where Vladimir Putin had just voted in the presidential race and tried to steal the ballot box with his vote.

The Femen group, known for their topless protests against trafficking of women and prostitution in several countries, turned up at the polling station in the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow minutes after Putin voted with his wife Lyudmila.

The three women pulled off their tops, shouted "Putin is a thief!" and tried to steal the ballot box with his vote before being detained by police, the group said in a statement on its blog.

The women revealed slogans painted on their chests and backs including "I steal for Putin" and "Kremlin rats".

Moscow police described the protest as a "provocation" on their website, saying that the women were taken to a police station and police were deciding whether they face charges.

The group held a topless protest at a polling station in Ukraine in February 2010 when current President Viktor Yanukovych was about to cast his vote in the presidential race, although they were detained before he appeared.