25 years since Mathias Rust landed on Red Square, Moscow

Indian Summer

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Yesterday marked the 25 year anniversary of the spectacular flight that amazed the world at a time when we were still in the icy grip of the Cold War. On the morning of 28th May 1987 then 19-year-old Mathias Rust from West Germany took off with his little chartered one-engine Cessna from the Helsinki-Malmi airport, Finland, then somehow managed to circumvent the entire USSR air defence system, and landed near the Red Square in Moscow. There he chatted casually with bemused passers-by for two hours before he was arrested.

Gorbachev used the incident to fire hundreds anti-reform ministers and generals, the biggest purge of military officers since Stalin's days.

Several news media reported on the story yesterday:

"I wanted to take an active part in perestroika and was hoping Gorbachev would make me part of this movement," Rust said, referring to the reform process launched by the last Soviet leader.
"And I believe I speeded up perestroika a little bit."
http://www.google.com/hostednews/af...ocId=CNG.46e25fa518eb6f1c1a1c63a9a74c366e.671

Story and interview on Deutsche Welle:

Story and interview from the 20th anniversary on DR news (Denmark's Radio):

What are the odds anyone would be able to pull off that kind of stunt today? I assume pretty slim, considering the trauma from civilian aircraft used as suicide bombers on 9/11. But I would think this was a one-off type of act anyway. Once done, it couldn't be done again.
 
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dormouse

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That's amazing. I've never heard of that. I was just in Red Square yesterday, so this is a very timely post.
 
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Indian Summer

Indian Summer

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That's amazing. I've never heard of that. I was just in Red Square yesterday, so this is a very timely post.
Pretty cool! I wouldn't think you would have seen any celebrations exactly, since the flight and landing sort of seriously embarrassed their military.
 
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Indian Summer

Indian Summer

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30 years (and a month ...). I didn't see a lot of news articles to commemorate the flight this time around. I guess the memory is fading, and Rust has been a bit of an "oddball" to say the least (in the years after the flight), so I guess he's not exactly someone you want to celebrate.