Russian cosmonauts have arrived at the International Space Station wearing Ukrainian flags, in what appears to be an anti-invasion statement.
The three men were the first newcomers since Russia launched an attack on its eastern neighbor last month. They were greeted warmly aboard, hugging and greeting their fellow American, Russian, and German crew members.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a joint project of Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan, and several European countries. It is led by a US-Russian partnership that has lasted two decades despite varying tensions between the two world powers.
Denis Matveyev, Oleg Artemyev, and Sergey Korsakov of Russia docked at the International Space Station after a three-hour flight from a Russian-owned facility in Kazakhstan.
A voice from Russia’s mission control said, “Congratulations on the successful docking,”
Two sets of hatches were opened a few hours later, and three smiling men in bright yellow space suits with blue accents floated into the space station one by one.
Before takeoff, at least one of the men was seen wearing the standard-issue Russian uniform, which is plain blue. Both Nasa, the American space agency, and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, broadcast the event live.
When asked about the suits during a live-streamed press conference, Mr Artemyev said, “It became our turn to pick a colour,”
He joked, “We had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it,” “That’s why we had to wear yellow.” says the narrator.
People all over the world have used the colors of Ukraine’s national flag to show solidarity and support since the invasion. The three Russians will embark on a six-month science mission aboard the International Space Station.
They will take the place of three current crew members who will return to Earth on March 30.