Legal Case of the Week: Base jumpers awarded compensation in Stalin Tower case

posted 19 Sept 2016, 07:15 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Sept 2016, 07:16 ]
On 16 September 2016, Moscow’s Tagansky district court awarded over two million roubles (about $31,000) in compensation to four base jumpers who were acquitted of painting a star in the colours of Ukraine on a skyscraper in central Moscow. As RAPSI reports, the court ordered the Finance Ministry to pay 667,000 roubles ($10,230) to Anna Lepeshkina, 414,000 rubles ($6,350) to Yevgenia Korotkova, 632,000 rubles ($9,700) to Aleksandr Pogrebov and 454,000 rubles ($6,700) to Aleksey Shirokozhukhov.

The incident occurred on 20 August 2014 when a Ukrainian flag was placed on the spire of a skyscraper on Moscow's Kotelnicheskaya Embankment, and the Soviet star atop the spire was painted in the national colours of Ukraine - blue and yellow. 

According to the official investigation, Ukrainian roofer Pavel Ushevets (Grisha Mustang), who subsequently left Russia for Ukraine, and Vladimir Podrezov from St. Petersburg were responsible for painting the star. The four base jumpers - Shirokozhukhov, Pogrebov, Korotkova and Lepeshkina parachuted from the roof to divert attention. RAPSI notes that 'Investigators claimed the goal of the action was to “destabilize Moscow and incite hatred”.' All the participants in the action were charged with politically motivated hooliganism and ideological hatred and vandalism.

The four base jumpers were charged with hooliganism and placed under house arrest. The fifth suspect, Podrezov, was remanded in custody. Tagansky district court acquitted the base jumpers on 10 September 2015. However, roofer Podrezov was sentenced to 2 years and 3 months in prison. Subsequently, on appeal Moscow City Court reduced Podrezov’s sentence to 2 years and 10 months of restriction of liberty and he was released.

Photo: @myroslavapetsa 

Yevgeniya Sokolova, 'Base jumpers acquitted of placing Ukrainian flag on Moscow skyscraper awarded $31,000,' Russian Legal Information Agency, 16 September 2016
'Ukraine won't extradite man wanted for 'desecrating' Moscow skyscraper,' Russian Legal Information Agency, 12 September 2014
'Высотное дело,' OVD Info