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Mathias Rust Quotes

Profession: Celebrity
Nationality: German

Mathias Rust (born 1 June 1968) is a German aviator known for his illegal landing near Red Square in Moscow on 28 May 1987. An amateur pilot, the teenager flew from Helsinki, Finland, to Moscow, being tracked several times by Soviet air defence and interceptors. The Soviet fighters never received permission to shoot him down, and several times his aeroplane was mistaken for a friendly aircraft. He landed on Vasilevsky Descent next to Red Square near the Kremlin in the capital of the Soviet Union.

Rust said he wanted to create an "imaginary bridge" to the East, and he has said that his flight was intended to reduce tension and suspicion between the two Cold War sides.Rust's flight through a supposedly impenetrable air defence system had great effect on the Soviet military and led to the dismissal of many senior officers, including Minister of Defence Marshal of the Soviet Union Sergei Sokolov and the Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Air Defence Forces, former World War II fighter ace pilot Chief Marshal Alexander Koldunov. The incident aided Mikhail Gorbachev in the implementation of his reforms, by allowing him to dismiss numerous military officials opposed to his policies. Rust was sentenced to four years in prison (for violation of border crossing and air traffic regulations, and provoking an emergency situation upon his landing). He was officially pardoned by the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet Andrei Gromyko, and released after 14 months in prison.

Source: Wikipedia.com