When Mathias Rust landed on the Red Square, Building an Imaginary Bridge on the Iron Curtain

In the autumn of 1986 Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan met in Reykjavík, Iceland, to talk about nuclear disarmament. The summit was a failure.

When he took off from Helsinki, in 1987, Mathias Rust was only 19 yo, and a rather inexperienced flyer. He took the courage to angle its small Cessna plane towards Russia and he flew right to Moscow, despite meeting a Mig 23 during flight.
He then flew three or four times about five to eight meters above the Red Square, then landed on a bridge nearby the Red Square, and parked right in front of St.Basil Cathedral.

Once gotten off, he replied to gathered people he was there to support Gorbachev’s will to disarm, but in a later trial he was nonetheless sentenced to four years of prison.
He was freed after some 14 months, following Gorbachev and Reagan agreement to reduce the nuclear arsenal.

“Rust has said he wanted to create an “imaginary bridge” to the East, and he has claimed that his flight was intended to reduce tension and suspicion between the two Cold War sides.”

His flight is said to have reduced Soviet military prestige among the populace and have aided Gorbachev in the implementation of his reforms, as the Head of State was able to remove numerous official opposed to him and alledgedly responsible for the “incident”.

Via: The Guardian


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