Russia removes flags of US, UK and Japan from its space rocket; leaves India's flag untouched

Amid increasing tensions with Ukraine, the Russian government's space agency removed flags of several countries painted on a rocket in spaceport, Baikonur. While flags of nations including the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan were taken off, India's flag was kept intact.

In a video posted by Director General Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin of ROSCOSMOS (space corporation of the Russian Federation) on March 2 on Twitter, ROSCOSMOS workers can be seen erasing the flags of certain countries.

ROSCOSMOS' move came after these countries declared tough economic sanctions and aggressive measures in response to Russia's behaviour against Ukraine. However, due to India's neutrality in the Ukraine-Russia crisis, its flag remained untouched.

Take a look at the video:
The Director General of the Space Agency noted in the caption of the video that “the launchers at the Baikonur decided that without the flags of some countries, our rocket would look more beautiful”.

On Thursday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said that 'Russia will pay' for invading the nation. Meanwhile, heavy battle continues over the outskirts of Mariupol, a strategically important port city on the Azov Sea.

Moscow has also seized control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which supplies 40 per cent of Ukraine's power supply. Russian troops took control of the plant after heavy shelling, during which the facilities caught fire. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is the largest in Europe.

As the Russian military claimed possession of Kherson, local Ukrainian officials confirmed that Russian forces have taken control of local government headquarters in the Black Sea port of 2.8 lakh people, making it the war's first major city to fall.

According to Ukraine, as many as 350 civilians have been killed since Russia launched the invasion last week while more than 1 million people have fled the war-torn nation. Moscow has, however, claimed that it has not been targeting civilian areas, despite widespread evidence to the contrary.