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Protesters plant Ukrainian flag, paint over Soviet star on famed Moscow skyscraper

A worker climber repaints in yellow a blue star at the top of a Stalin-era skyscraper in Moscow, on August 20, 2014. This giant star was painted in yellow and blue, the Ukrainian national colors, by unknown people. Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

MOSCOW – Protesters have scaled one of Moscow’s famed Stalin-era skyscrapers and painted the Soviet star on its spire in the national colours of Ukraine.

They also attached a yellow and blue Ukrainian flag to the top of the 176-metre building early Wednesday.

Russian authorities were not amused by the prank in support of Ukraine, where government troops are battling pro-Russian separatists. Police said they have detained four suspects and charged them with vandalism, a crime punishable with up to three years in prison.

The LifeNews media site posted a video it says shows one of the protesters parachuting off of the building and landing in an inner courtyard.

Russian news agencies, citing police, said the four suspects had climbing equipment with them when they were detained.

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