Tight Security Keeps DSK Speech Civil in Ukraine

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn has not had very good luck giving speeches in Europe since his return from New York, but he's finally mastered the security protocols necessary to get through one in Ukraine. The audience he addressed in Kiev on Wednesday did not protest or hit him with awkward questions, as other European crowds did last month, primarily because the security at his address was strict and the crowd carefully managed. As Reuters' Olzhas Auyezov reports:

His lecture in Ukraine, organized by local billionaire businessman Viktor Pinchuk's charitable foundation, was carefully arranged in order to avoid embarrassment.

Security was tight to filter out uninvited guests and journalists were not allowed to ask questions, a privilege reserved for local businessmen and politicians as well as students, many of whom were on Pinchuk's fellowships.

That must have been something of a relief to him after last month's address at the Cambridge Union Society, where protests greeted him out front, and a student inside asked him to "explain" the bruises reported by his New York accuser, Nafissatou Diallo. Strauss-Kahn canceled a second planned speech at the European Parliament later in the month after protests broke out there, too. A Beijing address Strauss-Kahn gave in December went smoothly enough, but he's had bad luck in Europe until now. The success of the event must be due to its heavy security and not Ukraine's general acceptance of Strauss-Kahn's persona: The topless protesters who demonstrated outside his house in October came from a Ukrainian feminist organization called Femen.

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