69 1 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Ukrainian activists, operating in the heart of Moscow, repainted the communist symbols atop one of the Stalin-era buildings in the Ukrainian colors of blue and yellow on Wednesday and topped it with a Ukrainian flag.

The daredevils had to maneuver some tricky territory atop the 32-story structure — more than 525 feet above the ground — to reach the star, with its hammer and sickle.

The apartment building on the Kotelnicheskaya embankment is one of the seven "wedding cake" skyscrapers built around Moscow from 1938 to 1952.

A photo in a Twitter posting shows a purported worker sent to remove the flag taking a selfie in front of the flag. The Russian news site LifeNews posted a video that it says shows one of the activists parachuting from the top of the building.

Four people were detained on suspicion of pulling off the cheeky political demonstration, the ITAR-TASS Russian news agency reports.

The two young men and two women were apparently caught with climbing gear but, according to ITAR-TASS, claimed that they jumped from the skyscraper with parachutes and denied painting the star blue or hanging any flag.

The largely residential building, built on the embankment of the Moscow River, was home to famous Soviet-era architects, scholars, artists, writers, military officers and actors.

Ukraine broke with Moscow in 1991 to become an independent state with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine after a heated political dispute this year and has been supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine who have declared an independent state. More than 2,000 have died in clashes in the region since April.

Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week for the first time in two months to discuss the crisis.

69 1 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1oQMi11