A Ukrainian roofer who painted a Soviet star on top of a Moscow landmark in his country's blue and yellow colors said he has officially changed his name to "Slava Ukraine," meaning "Glory to Ukraine."
The roofer, who is wanted on vandalism and hooliganism charges in Russia after his stunt earlier this year, disclosed his new name during a talk show on Ukraine's 1+1 Channel this week.
Asked by a television host what his new name was, the roofer, better known by his moniker Mustang Wanted, responded: "Glory to Ukraine" — an exclamation popular with protestors who forced out the country's pro-Russian president from office earlier this year.
The studio audience fell silent for a moment, apparently digesting the meaning of what he said, before bursting into applause. One viewer responded by shouting out the second part of the popular slogan: "Glory to the Heroes."
In Ukrainian or Russian, "Slava" is a common short form of the popular first name Vyacheslav.
The roofer said his new name is officially listed in his passport. He also said that he left his patronymic, a middle name commonly used in formal address, unchanged, but declined to disclose what it was.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser from Ukraine's Interior Ministry, said in a Facebook post earlier this fall that the roofer planned to change his first and last name "so that it would grate on Russia's nerves, while, conversely, inspiring Ukrainians toward new accomplishments."
Gerashchenko added that he knew what name the roofer had chosen but would leave it for him to disclose it.
Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov claimed on his Facebook page the same day that the roofer had supposedly pledged to change his name to "Vladimir Putin" — the name of the Russian president.
"And let's put Vladimir Putin on an international wanted list," Nemtsov said, referencing the fact that Russia has issued an international arrest warrant for Mustang Wanted.
The roofer also told the 1+1 talk show that he had sold a brief video he made of the painted skyscraper star to Russia's Kremlin-linked television channel Life News for $5,000 — and has donated the money to Ukraine's Donbas Battalion, a Kiev-loyalist force.