Russia’s space agency on Saturday rejected Western media reports suggesting Russian astronauts joining the International Space Station (ISS) had chosen to wear yellow suits with blue decorations in support of Ukraine.
“Sometimes yellow is just yellow,” Roscosmos press service said on its Telegram channel.
“The new crew flight suit is made in the emblem color of Moscow’s Bauman State Technical University, which all three astronauts passed … To see the Ukrainian flag everywhere and in everything is insane.”
Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said in his personal Telegram channel that Russian astronauts have no sympathy for Ukrainian nationalists.
In a live news conference from the ISS on Friday, veteran astronaut Oleg Artemyev, the mission commander, was asked about the suit.
“Each crew chooses a color that looks different. It’s our turn to choose a color,” he said. “Actually, we’ve collected a lot of yellow fabric, so we have to spend it. That’s why we had to wear yellow flight suits.”
Russia invaded Ukraine, which has blue and yellow flags, on 24 February. The ensuing fighting has killed thousands of people, destroyed parts of the city and caused millions of Ukrainians to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.
Rogozin has suggested that U.S. sanctions imposed in response to the invasion could destroy ISS teamwork and cause the space station to fall out of orbit.
Officials at the U.S. space agency, NASA, said U.S. and Russian crew members were aware of the incident on Earth but their work was not affected by geopolitical tensions.
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