Russia Ridicules the Notion That the Cosmonauts Wore Yellow in Support of Ukraine

Screenshot from YouTube

On March 19, three Russian cosmonauts blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and headed for a rendevous with the International Space Station. Once aboard, their bright yellow flight suits trimmed in blue drew immediate attention on social media.


Yellow and blue are the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Could the Russian astronauts be making a political statement in support of the Ukraine resistance?

That’s silly, said the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Al Jazeera:

“Sometimes yellow is just yellow,” Roscosmos’s press service said on its Telegram channel on Saturday.

“The flight suits of the new crew are made in the colours of the emblem of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, which all three cosmonauts graduated from … To see the Ukrainian flag everywhere and in everything is crazy.”

Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin was more acerbic, saying on his personal Telegram channel that Russian cosmonauts had no sympathy for Ukrainian nationalists.

So, that explains it, right? Not exactly. It took the Russians three tries to get the propaganda right.

In a livestreamed news conference from the ISS on Friday, veteran cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, the mission commander, was asked about the suits.

“Every crew picks a colour that looks different. It was our turn to pick a colour,” he said.

“The truth is, we had accumulated a lot of yellow fabric, so we needed to use it up. That’s why we had to wear yellow flight suits.”

They needed to use up the excess yellow fabric that had accumulated? That sounds like something TASS would have used as an explanation 50 years ago.

Related: Russian Cosmonauts Arrive at International Space Station Wearing Ukrainian Colors

But the rumor about the school colors being used had been circulating for the previous 24 hours, and it apparently originated in the Western media.


But Artemyev wasn’t through inventing explanations.

On Saturday evening, he was quoted on Roscosmos’s Telegram channel as saying the suits had been made six months ago, and that the three cosmonauts had chosen the colours of their alma mater.

“Colour is just colour. It has nothing to do with Ukraine,” he said.

“In these days, even though we are in space, we are together with our president and people!”

So, color is just color, or the colors had been chosen six months ago, or the colors were chosen because of their alma mater.

Or there was too much yellow fabric and they needed the space so they had to use it for something.

I’m so glad they figured it all out. Whether it’s the truth or not is an entirely different question.



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