A Russian flag has been unfurled on scaffolding at Salisbury Cathedral, just over two weeks before the anniversary of a nerve agent attack in the city.
It was spotted on Sunday morning and could be seen for miles, but has since been taken down.
The flag was unfurled on the north face of the historical monument, which is currently under renovation.
It appeared the flag had been put in place by someone climbing the scaffolding on Saturday night.
The incident has drawn criticism from local people, with one man writing on Twitter that “after everything this city has gone through it does not need this”.
Salisbury was at the centre of the novichok poisonings of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on 4 March last year.
Two other people were exposed to the same nerve agent months after the Skripals were targeted.
Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, fell ill in the nearby town of Amesbury. Ms Sturgess later died in hospital.
The UK government has accused Russia’s GRU spy agency of carrying out the attack.
Investigative website Bellingcat recently linked a third suspect to the attack and named him as Denis Sergeev, a high-ranking Russian military intelligence officer.
Sky News independently verified that the name is correct and the suspect is believed to be a member of the GRU.
The website also revealed the identities of two other Russian intelligence officers suspected of carrying out the attack, Colonel Alexander Mishkin and Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, last year.
Russia has previously come under fire for mocking the Salisbury poisonings after a state-run TV station sent out chocolate models of the cathedral as a Christmas gift.
RT said the models were sent to mark one of the “biggest news stories of the year”.
Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.