Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev, and Sergey Korsakov arrive wearing yellow and blue flight suits at the International Space Station after docking their Soyuz capsule, on March 18, 2022 in a still image from video. (NASA TV/Handout via Reuters)
Russia’s space agency on Saturday dismissed Western media reports suggesting Russian cosmonauts joining the International Space Station (ISS) had chosen to wear yellow suits with a blue trim in support of Ukraine.
“Sometimes yellow is just yellow,” Roscosmos’ press service said on its Telegram channel.
“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.
In a live-streamed 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.”
Rogozin has suggested that U.S. sanctions imposed in response to the invasion could destroy ISS teamwork and lead to the space station falling out of orbit.
Officials at the U.S. space agency, NASA, have said U.S. and Russian crew members are aware of events on Earth but that their work has not been affected by geopolitical tensions.