Man takes selfie with Ukraine flag unfurled on top of Moscow skyscraper

A man takes a selfie as he stands with a Ukrainian flag on a Soviet-style star re-touched with blue paint so it resembles the yellow-and-blue national colours of Ukraine, atop the spire of a building in Moscow on Aug 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A man takes a selfie as he stands with a Ukrainian flag on a Soviet-style star re-touched with blue paint so it resembles the yellow-and-blue national colours of Ukraine, atop the spire of a building in Moscow on Aug 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - A Ukrainian flag was unfurled on the top of a Moscow skyscraper near the Kremlin on Wednesday, officials said.

The Soviet star on the Stalin-era skyscraper was also painted in the yellow and blue colours of the national flag. A man was photographed taking selfies of himself perched on the star.

"The flag was attached by unidentified criminals to the top of the Kotelniki skyscraper," a spokesman for the Russian emergencies ministry, Mr Roman Kilkeyev, told AFP.

Workers were brought in to remove the flag and give the star a new coat of gold-coloured paint. Russian police said they had charged four young people with vandalism for the stunt.

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have soared since Mr Viktor Yanukovich was chased from power in Ukraine and replaced with a pro-Western government in February.

Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March, and a pro-Russian rebellion broke out in the east of the country that has led to some 2,200 deaths since April.