The Russian government’s space agency has removed the flags of a few countries including the US and Japan – yet kept India’s banner intact – painted on a massive rocket in the spaceport Baikonur.
The symbol move by the space office Roscosmos that shows ties among Russia and these countries have nosedived comes a week after Russia invaded Ukraine over the east European nation’s attempts to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or NATO.
As Russian forces swept city after city in Ukraine, NATO member states France, Germany, and the UK, and nations friendly to the US, such as Japan, have announced harsh sanctions that targeted trade and taken aggressive measures to cut off Russia from the sporting and cultural world.
“The launchers at Baikonur decided that without the flags of some countries, our rocket would look more beautiful,” Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin tweeted.
The tweet has a video that shows Russian workers at the spaceport erasing the flags of different countries. India’s flag remains untouched. India yesterday supported the international community’s call for an immediate ceasefire after abstaining on a UN General Assembly resolution that strongly deplored Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the third abstention in less than a week by India. Russia has thanked India for its stand on the crisis.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky today said “Russia will pay” for the invasion of his country, as Russian forces continue to encircle key Ukrainian cities supported by a massive missile and rocket attacks.
On the ground, Russian forces have taken the Black Sea port of Kherson in southern Ukraine, the first major city to fall after a string of setbacks for Moscow. They also pound and encircle the strategic port city of Mariupol, which is without water or electricity.