Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Ukrainian Roofer, Kiev Vows Not to Give Him Up

A man takes a "selfie" as he stands with a Ukrainian flag on top of one of Moscow's so-called "Seven Sisters," which was also painted in Ukrainian colors.

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 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.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.