Russian cosmonauts arrive at space station wearing Ukrainian flag colours

It is not clear if the choice of flight suits was a coincidence

Russian cosmonauts Sergey Korsakov, Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveyev arrive at the International Space Station on Friday, March 18, wearing yellow flight suits with blue stripes, the colours of the Ukrainian flag. AP

Three Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station wearing flight suits that matched the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on the Soyuz MS-21 mission on Friday night.

After they entered the space station, their fashion choice took social media users by surprise, with many pointing out their yellow flight suits with blue accents resembled Ukraine’s flag.

It is not clear if the outfit choice was a coincidence, but mission commander Mr Artemyev was asked about it by Russian space officials.

“They were asked about the colour of the suits and Oleg answered that there was too much yellow fabric accumulated in the warehouse. Except that, just usual greetings and best wishes,” Katya Pavlushchenko, a Russian space enthusiast, tweeted.

Russia’s space programme has been affected by sanctions imposed by the West for its invasion of Ukraine.

Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin has been very vocal on social media about his disapproval of the sanctions, including making threats that Russia could drop the floating laboratory on the US or Europe.

“If you block co-operation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or … Europe? There is also the option of dropping a 500-tonne structure [on] India and China,” he tweeted.

“Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?”

These cosmonauts were the first Russians to arrive on the space station since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It was the first time an all-Russian crew launched since operations of the ISS began more than 20 years ago.

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Updated: March 19, 2022, 6:37 AM