The latest demonstration of support for conflict-torn Ukraine in Moscow appeared right on the city's historic Red Square — or so social media users mistakenly concluded Friday.
Images of blue and yellow stripes painted on the ancient square's cobblestones went viral on Twitter and Facebook, with some observers linking their appearance to a stunt by activists earlier this week in which the star atop one of Moscow's iconic 'Seven Sisters' Stalinist skyscrapers was repainted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag: blue and yellow.
A spokesman for the Office of Presidential Affairs, which is in charge of the maintenance of Red Square and the Kremlin, denied the link Friday, saying that the stripes had in fact been painted on the square months ago for the Victory Day parade on May 9, in order to orientate troops and vehicles.
"The yellow stripes were for infantry, the blue ones for armored vehicles," Viktor Khrekov wrote on his Facebook page.
Москва. Красная площадь. pic.twitter.com/og5PmIXHrS— Женни Шаден (@ShadenFM) August 21, 2014