Ukraine flag unfurled on top of Moscow skyscraper

AFP
A worker repaints a star yellow at the top of a Stalin-era skyscraper in Moscow blue, on August 20, 2014. The star was painted in yellow and blue, the Ukrainian national colors, by unknown people
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A worker repaints a star yellow at the top of a Stalin-era skyscraper in Moscow blue, on August 20, 2014. The star was painted in yellow and blue, the Ukrainian national colors, by unknown people (AFP Photo/Kirill Kudryavtsev)

Moscow (AFP) - A Ukrainian flag was unfurled on the top of a Moscow skyscraper within sight of the Kremlin on Wednesday, officials said, as fighting in eastern Ukraine has frayed bilateral ties.

The Soviet star crowning the Stalin-era skyscraper, located just a kilometre (half a mile) from the Kremlin, was also painted in the yellow and blue colours of the national flag.

"The flag was attached by unidentified criminals to the top of the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment skyscraper," a spokesman for the Russian emergencies ministry, Roman Kilkeyev, told AFP.

Workers were brought in to remove the flag and give a new coat of gold-coloured paint to the star atop the 176-metre (577-foot) high building.

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have soared since Viktor Yanukovich was chased from power in Ukraine and replaced with a pro-Western government in February.

Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March, and a pro-Russian rebellion broke out in the east of the country that has led to some 2,200 deaths since April.

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