The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been going on for almost a month, and it hasn’t been going as swimmingly as the former nation had hoped. Global leaders have rallied around Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, who’s become a kind of folk hero (with a hit comedy show on his CV). Russian president Vladimir Putin has tried to keep his populace in a bubble, even feeding them Fox News clips. But his efforts don’t appear to be entirely working.
These colors are just not subtle. pic.twitter.com/CyA12JzTWB
— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) March 18, 2022
As per The Washington Post, three Russian astronauts — Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov — boarded the International Space Station early Friday bearing an interesting sartorial choice. Their suits, rather than made of subdued colors, were instead yellow with blue stripes. It wasn’t hard for many to notice that yellow and blue just so happens to be the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
The astronauts did not say anything political, much less tip their hat to the color of their suits. (They also bore patches of blue, white, and red, the colors of the Russian flag.) “We actually had a lot of yellow material, so we had to use it,” Artemyev replied when asked about their suits. “So that’s why we had to wear yellow.”
But others had theories.
It is actually plausible that the 'Ukrainian' color flight suits are in fact "Bauman University" color suits. They made a big deal of this being the first all-Bauman crew. (BMGTU is sort of Moscow's MIT AeroAstro and many Russian astronauts are graduates) https://t.co/9yPLgwtYHv
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) March 18, 2022
Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer, that the colors could very well be a nod to Bauman University, the MIT-like school all three astronauts attended.
Since the invasion, the Kremlin has shut down all independent media outlets and banned some social media, feeding the populace with misinformation about Ukraine. Others have found creative and brave ways of calling out state propaganda.
The trip to the International Space Station comes amidst widespread sanctioning of Russia, including seizing the possessions of oligarchs who live outside the country. There has also been tension between NASA and Roscosmos, its Russian equivalent, who threatened to cut off supplies of their own rocket engines. NASA, however, has denied that the two groups have been fighting.