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Fed-up US Astronaut Returns Russian Medal with Special Message for Ex-Russian Pres

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An American former astronaut who spent a year on the International Space Station is returning a Russian medal honoring his accomplishments in space.

Scott Kelly is citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the reason he’s returning his Russian medal “For Merit in Space Exploration.”

Kelly made the announcement in a Wednesday tweet directed to former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The astronaut has someone in mind to receive the medal.

A translation of his tweet reads as follows:

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“Mr. Medvedev, I am returning to you the Russian medal ‘For Merit in Space Exploration,’ which you presented to me. Please give it to a Russian mother whose son died in this unjust war. I will mail the medal to the Russian embassy in Washington. Good luck.”

Kelly announced the medal’s return in response to a Medvedev tweet celebrating International Women’s Day.

Medvedev bestowed the medal on Kelly in 2011, according to CNN. Kelly is fluent in Russian and spent several years training in Moscow’s Star City space facility.

Should he return the medal?

Kelly has referenced his relationships with Russian cosmonauts and colleagues throughout his space career in appeals to the conscience of Russian leadership.

The former naval aviator even spoke of a direct conversation with Vladimir Putin he had on the International Space Station. Kelly says he spoke to Putin after his sister-in-law, then-congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot in a 2011 assassination attempt.

WARNING: The following video contains graphic images that some viewers may find disturbing.

Kelly indicated on Twitter that some of the Russian cosmonauts he’s worked with despise Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine as much as he does.

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Kelly had been attacked on Twitter by Dmitry Rogozin, the administrator of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency. Roscosmos is Russia’s equivalent of NASA.

Kelly spent nearly a full year on the International Space Station with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.


Scott Kelly is the twin brother of Mark Kelly, a Democratic senator representing Arizona.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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