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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Russia Update: August 4, 2015

Publication: Russia Update
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Trial to Begin in Case of Base Jumpers Accused of Painting Star Atop Moscow Building in Colors of Ukrainian Flag

A preliminary hearing opened today in the case of the base jumpers who were accused of painting a star on a Stalin-era building in Moscow in the yellow and blue colors of the Ukrainian flag, RBC.ru reported.

We have covered this story in-depth in the past, including a summary of an interview with the father of one of the defendants.

A Ukrainian activist known as "Mustang" (Pavel Ushevits) a "roofer" or climber of tall buildings, took credit for the painting of the star when the others were arrested. He is now fighting on the side of Ukraine in the war in the Donbass.

Meanwhile, the five persons accused of parachuting off the building and defacing the star have pleaded not guilty regarding the paint job. They are Aleksandr Pogrebov, Aleksei Shirokozhukhov, Yevgeniya Korotova, Anna Lepeshkina and Vladimir Podrezov.  All of them were known as base jumpers or "roofers".

Their lawyers say they are "non-political" and were guilty only of base-jumping, claiming their presence on the same building was a coincidence.

The charges are based on the testimony of one of the defendants, Podrezov, and another witness, Kirill Ishutin, who was not accused of the base jump but is now facing a charge of possession of illegal narcotics after police found drugs in his apartment after a search.

But attorneys say their clients did not know Mustang, did not contact him, or were near him the day of the jump, and their cell phone records prove this.

Podrezov says he knew Mustang and was on the roof during his protest painting.

The trial is set to open August 17.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

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