As far as Russia is concerned, the West is so obsessed with Ukraine that it is seeing signs where none exist. After feverish online speculation, Moscow has roundly dismissed suggestions that its cosmonauts wore yellow suits with blue accents as a low-key way of showing solidarity with Ukraine. The speculation began when three Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station on Friday wearing flight suits that looked strikingly like the Ukrainian flag.
Considering Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev, and Sergey Korsakov were the first new arrivals at the space station since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the colors immediately stood out. The cosmonauts certainly didn’t help tamp down speculation right away when they were first asked about the suits. “It became our turn to pick a color. But in fact, we had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it. So that’s why we had to wear yellow,” Artemyev, the mission commander, said during a live-streamed news conference from the International Space Station.
Russia later completely dismissed all speculation and Artemyev clarified that the crew picked the colors about six months before the launch and they chose the colors of their alma matter, Bauman Moscow State Technical University. “There is no need to look for any hidden signs or symbols in our uniform. A color is simply a color. It is not in any way connected to Ukraine,· Artemyev said in a statement on the Telegram channel for Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency. “These days, even though we are in space, we are together with our president and our people.”
The point was emphasized by Roscosmos’ press service: “To see the Ukrainian flag everywhere and in everything is crazy.” Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, also took to Twitter to post a photo of Bauman Moscow State Technical University’s coat of arms to say that’s where the color choice originated.