Three Russian cosmonauts arrived on the International Space Station in their Soyuz capsule and were filmed wearing the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag while Putin was at war
Image: ROSCOSMOS PRESS SERVICE/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Three Russian cosmonauts have risked the wrath of Vladimir Putin by arriving on the International Space Station wearing the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag.
Although the trio have not said it publicly, it could be a sign of support for Ukraine’s plight, which has endured Russian shells since their neighbor invaded on February 24.
The cosmonauts who have burst into the international spotlight in the Ukrainian colors are Commander Oleg Artemyev and rookies Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov.
Any attempt to defy Putin or oppose the invasion of Ukraine could have serious repercussions in Russia, where anti-war rallies have been broken up and law enforcement officers led protesters away.
The media is heavily censored to try to stop negative news about the invasion of Ukraine, and protesters could face 15 years in prison for speaking out.
Russian space agency Roscosmos/A)
The veteran Artemyev, 51, a cosmonaut for the Russian Federal Space Agency and born in Latvia when it was still part of the Soviet Union, arrived on the International Space Station in the Soyuz capsule with two other Russian cosmonauts.
Mateev, 38, is from St. Petersburg and went to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow, while Korsakov, 37, is from Kyrgyzstan and was selected by Russia’s Roscosmos space agency in 2012.
They have successfully docked at the outpost for a mission continuing a 20-year joint Russian-American presence in orbit despite tensions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The three cosmonauts were warmly welcomed by four Americans, two Russians and a German crew member already on board.
The rendezvous with the space station has capped a flight of three hours and 10 minutes after the launch of the Soyuz spacecraft from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
“Congratulations on the successful docking,” said a voice from Russian mission control a moment later, according to an English translator speaking of the event during a live NASA webcast.
The spacecraft connection occurred as the Soyuz and space station flew about 250 miles over eastern Kazakhstan, a NASA commentator said.
Approximately 2 1/2 hours later, after the passageway between the station and Soyuz was pressurized, two sets of hatches were opened and the three smiling Soyuz astronauts, dressed in yellow flight suits with blue accents, floated upside down, one at a time others, to the ISS.
They were warmly greeted with hugs and handshakes from all seven existing space station occupants waiting for them across the short corridor.
Artemyev, the Soyuz commander, was reportedly asked about the colors during a webcast by the Russian Space Agency roscosmos and he said that there was a “surplus of yellow cloth” in stock, so they decided to use it.
The colors worn by the cosmonauts also caused a lot of discussion on social media.
“Three Russian cosmonauts who just docked at the ISS arrive in Ukrainian yellow!” said former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who was on the space station with cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko from March 2015 to March 2016.
The three cosmonauts are on board for six and a half months.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/who-russian-cosmonauts-risking-putins-26506167 Who are the Russian cosmonauts risking Putin's wrath by wearing the colors of Ukraine? - World news