Accessibility links

Breaking News

On Independence Day, Ukrainian Flag Flies In Unexpected Places

Ukraine's blue-and-yellow bicolor appeared in some unexpected places over the weekend.
Ukraine's blue-and-yellow bicolor appeared in some unexpected places over the weekend.

No one was surprised that the ubiquitous blue-and-yellow of the Ukrainian flag was seen throughout Ukraine on the country's August 23 Flag Day and on the Independence Day that followed.

But perhaps spurred on by the daring act of painting one of Moscow's highest spires in the colors of the flag last week, the bicolor was also seen flying in some more unexpected places.

In Crimea, which was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in March, an activist climbed the 1.2 kilometer-high Ay-Petri Mountain and placed the Ukrainian flag at its peak.

"We need to spread the word that on our land there will be sunlight," he said. "Crimea was, is, and will always be Ukraine."

About eight activists also flew the Ukrainian flag at a small gathering in Sevastopol, Crimea's largest city. Traffic police briefly detained Viktor Neganov, the rally's organizer.

In Saint Petersburg, Russia, supporters of the liberal RPR-Parnas party draped the flag over a bridge on Moskovsky Prospect. According to the BaltInfo news agency, no one was detained.

Some Muscovites were not as lucky. Five were detained by police after the activists unfurled the Ukrainian flag on a bridge outside the walls of the Kremlin. According to ITAR-TASS news agency, they were charged with attempting a "rally in support of Ukraine."

But there were smaller-scale acts throughout the city that appeared to escape police notice. An activist for the "Committee in Solidarity With Maidan" said Ukraine supporters waved the flag in locations throughout the city and were not "met with aggression" by the general public. "Perhaps Moscow has adjusted to the presence of the Ukrainian flag" he added.

Pussy Riot founding member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova posted this photo of a pro-Ukraine hedgehog in Red Square. No charges against the prickly insectivore have been reported.

-- RFE/RL's Russian Service

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.