While the lawsuits are likely a sign of solidarity with Ukraine, there are also other possible explanations.
Some have speculated that the three might instead have been honoring Bauman State Technical University in Moscow, which they all attended and which features blue and yellow among its school colors.
The head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, posted photos on Telegram of media coverage speculating that the cosmonauts were supporting Ukraine, and said: “Here are some cowardly thieves and their Anglo-Saxon patrons who know nothing else to invent in the information war against Russia.” He added that the crew did not represent Ukraine but wore colors from their university: Bauman Moscow State Technical University.
“Sometimes yellow is just yellow. The flight suits of the new crew were designed to match the colors of the emblem of Bauman State Technical University in Moscow, where the three cosmonauts graduated. The design of the uniforms was coordinated long before current events.. The vision of Ukrainian flag everywhere and in everything is just a clinic [in propaganda]another Roscosmos official wrote in his Telegram channel “Closed Space”.
Cosmonauts usually choose their air suits months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But it is unclear when the astronauts chose this yellow and blue color scheme.
“For Soyuz flights, the crew usually meet with the company that makes the suits months before the flight and are allowed two custom suits,” a NASA astronaut who traveled on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station told CNN. “Usually one suit is the same across the crew, and the second suit is a personal thing.”
“I think it’s going to be a real challenge making and launching (flight suits) at the last minute. It’s not impossible,” said a former NASA astronaut who also traveled on a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station.
When the three astronauts arrived at the space station on Friday, they spoke to callers on the phone, and one of them asked about yellow. Commander Oleg Artemyev joked, “We already have a lot of yellow material, so we had to use it. That’s why we had to wear yellow.”
Cosmonauts Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov will spend the next six and a half months aboard the space station.
CNN’s Ashley Strickland contributed to this report.