5 Activist Detained in Moscow for Latest Pro-Ukraine Stunt

Five activists were detained on Sunday following an attempt to suspend the Ukrainian flag from a prominent bridge just outside the walls of the Kremlin.

Video footage of the incident showed the activists being detained by nearby police officers before managing to unfurl the flag from central Moscow's Bolshoi Kamenny Bridge. The demonstration was staged as Ukraine celebrated its Independence Day on Sunday.

The activists were detained on the basis of having staged an unsanctioned rally, Ekho Moskvy reported. Those detained may face administrative penalties for their actions.

One of the activists faces additional penalties for attempting to evade detention after police arrived on the scene, according to a statement on the website of OVD Info, a Russian organization that monitors the detentions of activists.

Olga Faleyeva, an activist cited by Ekho Moskvy, said police had questioned them about their citizenship and whether any of them were Ukrainian nationals.  

OVD Info cited the activists as saying that investigators from the Federal Security Service's center for extremism were present for the questioning.  

On Saturday evening, five other activists pulled a similar stunt in Alexandrovsky Sad, attempting to shoot a video in front of a monument to Kiev before being detained, Newsru.com reported. They were released without any penalties.

Last week, a group of activists climbed an iconic Moscow skyscraper and attached a Ukrainian flag to its spire. Four people are suspects in the case, two of whom were placed under house arrest on Thursday. According to the suspects' lawyer, Sergei Badamshin, they stand accused of vandalism and hooliganism — the latter charge is punishable by years in prison.

See also:

'Ukrainian' Stripes on Moscow's Red Square Mistaken for Activism

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