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Activists Under House Arrest for Hoisting Ukraine Flag on Stalinist Building

Published: August 23, 2014 (Issue # 1825)



  • Alexei Shirokozhukhov, right, one of four climbers placed under house arrest on suspicion of attaching a Ukrainian flag to a Stalin-era skyscraper, during a hearing in a Moscow courtroom on Aug. 22.
    Photo: MSKAgency

All four activists accused of having scaled a Moscow skyscraper to attach a Ukrainian flag to its spire were placed under house arrest on Thursday and may face years in jail.

A Moscow court late on Thursday placed all four suspects — Alexander Pogrebov, Alexei Shirokozhukhov, Anna Lepeshkin and Evgeny Korotkov —under house arrest until Oct. 19.

According to the suspects' lawyer Sergei Badamshin, they stand accused of hooliganism and vandalism.

"House arrest. I'm glad they did not eat us," he wrote on his Twitter account.

Residents of Moscow's Taganka district woke up Wednesday morning to find a Ukrainian flag attached to the Soviet star on the spire of one of the area's iconic Stalin buildings.

The flag appeared atop the high-rise, one of the city's so-called "Seven Sisters," at about 7:15 a.m. and remained in place for at least three hours before authorities were able to remove it, the Interfax news agency reported, citing a source within the municipal emergency services.

Police said later Wednesday that they had opened a criminal case on vandalism charges and were questioning four suspects — two men and two women — in relation to the stunt, Interfax reported.

According to a preliminary police report, the culprits climbed the stairs to the top floor of the 32-story residential complex and then continued their ascent with the help of climbing equipment.

In addition to attaching the Ukrainian flag to the spire, the perpetrators also covered the Soviet-era star at the top of the building in blue and yellow paint — Ukraine's official colors — tabloid LifeNews reported.

A video captured by a local resident and published by LifeNews claims to show one of the suspected perpetrators escaping the scene of the stunt by parachuting off the building's roof.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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