Inna Shevchenko is an activist, feminist campaigner, speaker and writer. She is the current leader of the international women’s movement FEMEN, the movement of topless activists that stage their demonstrations against patriarchy (especially dictatorship), religion and the sex industry.
Inna was born in Ukraine where she grew up and studied journalism at the Taras Shevchenko National University in Kiev before working as a press officer for the mayor of Kiev. She joined FEMEN in 2009. In 2011 she and two other FEMEN members were tortured in Belarus by the KGB after FEMEN’s topless protest in support of political prisoners in Belarus, Minsk. In 2013 she was granted political asylum in France. Inna fled Ukraine right after her famous demonstration against union between church and state when she cut-down with a chainsaw a 7-metre high Christian cross that was illegally located in the centre of Kiev. This act initiated considerable debate. The main Russian TV channel reported falsely that the cross was a memorial for victims of Stalinism, after which Shevchenko became a target for death threats and former Ukrainian president Yankovich called for her arrest. In France she initiated a transformation of the Ukrainian FEMEN group into an international movement. She now organises the work of dozens of FEMEN branches from Paris where she has established a training base for feminist activists. Inna also contributes to the international media as a writer and often speaks at feminist, secularist and humanist events worldwide.