Russia Rejects 'Crazy' Claim Cosmonauts Backing Ukraine With Yellow Suits

Russia's space agency on Saturday rejected claims that three Russian cosmonauts who were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) wore yellow and blue suits to match the Ukrainian flag, calling the notion "crazy."

"Sometimes yellow is just yellow," Roscosmos' press service said on its Telegram channel, according to Reuters. "The flight suits of the new crew are made in the colors 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."

The statement came after several Western media outlets reported that the cosmonauts wore the defining colors on Friday in an apparent show of support for Ukraine, following Russia's invasion of the country on February 24.

The suits were bright yellow with a blue trimming—the same colors as Ukraine's flag—and marked a notable difference from the typically subdued outfits worn by astronauts. In the past several weeks, wearing or displaying yellow and blue has become a prominent signal of anti-war activism around the world.

However, Roscosmos director-general Dmitry Rogozin doubled-down against claims that the suits were worn as a political statement, stating that the colors were chosen months ago.

"Every crew picks a color that looks different. It was our turn to pick a color," he said, according to Reuters. "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."

"It has nothing to do with Ukraine," he added. "In these days, even though we are in space, we are together with our president and people!" Roscosmos also published a photo of cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev wearing a suit with Russian colors on Saturday, according to BBC News.

The director general has also expressed concern over international space relations and suggested that sanctions imposed by the U.S. in response to the ongoing war could destroy the ISS. In response, NASA has insisted that its work with Russia has not been swayed by geopolitical differences on Earth.

On Saturday, the United Nations said that at least 847 Ukrainian civilians have so far been killed and 1,399 wounded since the war began. Over 3.2 million refugees have also fled Ukraine, while more 6 million have been displaced inside the country.

Thousands of soldiers have also been killed in the fighting, but negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian delegates have so far failed to yield any results.

Russian cosmonauts yellow and blue suits
Russia's space agency denied reports that Russian cosmonauts wore yellow and blue suits to support Ukraine. Above, a spacecraft blasts off to the ISS from the Moscow-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on December 8, 2021. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images