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Russian Climber Flies Ukrainian Flag on Everest – Denied Summit Certificate

Katya Lipka made a stand against the war in Ukraine, by unfurling the Ukrainian flag when she reached the top of Everest

Russian climber Katya Lipka on Everest with Ukraine flag in 2022

Nepal has denied an Everest summit certificate to Russian climber Katya Lipka because she flew a Ukrainian flag as a protest against Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. On June 3, Lipka posted a photo of herself on the top of the world unfurling the Ukrainian flag. In the post, she described her climb and her desire for the war to end.

“We have sought clarification from her, Liaison Officer and her expedition agency for unfurling the flag without our approval. This is an extremely sensitive geopolitical issue which cannot be taken lightly,” said Surya Parasad Upadhyaya, director of Nepal’s department of tourism, the body responsible for issuing climbing certificates.

According to the Nepal’s tourism industry, unfurling flags from Everest top is not prohibited but authorities should be made aware about what type or size of flags are being taken to the top. Upadhyaya said the department has also recommended Katya is banned from climbing Nepal’s mountains for three years.

In 2019, a giant Kuwaiti flag, measuring 100 metres by 30 metres, was unfurled from the top of Mount Ama Dablam without permission. The flag was confiscated by the authorities and taken to the International Mountain Museum in Pokhara.

This year, a Mexican climber set a world record of playing keyboard on top of the world. Juan Diego Martinez Alvarez, also called piano boy, played a keyboard atop Everest to set a Guinness World Record. He did not have permission, so the 19-year-old climber, the youngest Everest summiteer of Mexico, was denied a summit certificate by the Nepal government.