Russia has issued an international arrest warrant for a Kiev-based extreme climber accused of painting the spire of a Moscow landmark skyscraper in Ukrainian colors and hanging a Ukrainian flag from it, a news report said.
The climber, whom investigators identified as Pavel Ushivets but who is better known by his nicknames Grigory and Mustang Wanted, has been charged in absentia for the August stunt, Interfax reported Thursday, citing a fellow defendant's lawyer Olga Lukmanova.
Anton Gerashchenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Ministry, wrote on his Facebook page that his country would not hand the climber — whom he described as a "hero of Ukraine" — over to Russia to face trial.
"We won't give our Mustang to Russia — or indeed any other Ukrainian citizen," he wrote.
Six other people are under investigation in the case, Lukmanova was quoted as saying, apparently including the members of a film crew who videotaped the climber's stunt. At least two of the climber's suspected assistants — Russia's Kirill Ishutin and Vladimir Podrezov — have been detained, Interfax reported.
After police detained four people in the hours after the Aug. 20 incident, the "roofer" Mustang Wanted posted an online confession claiming responsibility for the stunt and urging the "release of innocent Russian citizens who have been accused of hooliganism."
He also said on his Facebook page later that month that he had sold footage of the climb to pro-Kremlin Russian tabloid LifeNews.ru for $5,000 and had then — defiantly — donated the money to the Ukrainian army, which is fighting a pro-Moscow insurgency in Ukraine's east.