‘Sometimes yellow is just yellow’: Russia denies that cosmonauts wore Ukrainian colours to show support

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Russia’s space agency has dismissed reports that their cosmonauts chose to wear yellow suits with a blue trim in support of Ukraine when they joined the International Space Station (ISS), saying: “Sometimes yellow is just yellow”.

The three Russian cosmonauts arrived on the ISS in brand new yellow jumpsuits, a departure from their traditional dark blue colour.

Denis Matveyev, Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Korsakov were welcomed on board by their fellow American, Russian and German crew members.

In a press conference live-streamed by Nasa, the American space agency, and the Russian agency Roscosmos, Mr Artemyev joked: “We had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it. That’s why we had to wear yellow.”

He said: “It became our turn to pick a colour”.

The three cosmonauts were the first new arrivals on the ISS since Russia invaded Ukraine. Since Vladimir Putin’s war began on 24 February, many people worldwide have used the colours of its national flag - yellow and blue - to show solidarity with the country.

However the Russian space agency dismissed the suggestion that the Russian cosmonauts were showing support for Ukraine.

Roscosmos’ press service said on Saturday: “Sometimes yellow is just yellow.”

They added: “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 said on his personal Telegram channel that the cosmonauts had no sympathy for Ukrainian nationalists.

The three Russians will stay on the ISS for over six months and replace three current crew members who are scheduled to fly back to Earth on 30 March.