Scott Kelly spent almost a year on the International Space Station.
Former astronaut Scott Kelly said Russians defending the war in Ukraine have been “brainwashed.”
He has raised $65,000 to donate an ambulance to Ukraine through the United24 scheme.
The former astronaut became an online “troll” of Russia’s former space chief earlier this year.
Former astronaut Scott Kelly started the year as your average former NASA astronaut. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s February invasion of Ukraine flung him into the spotlight for decidedly different reasons.
Kelly has used his 5.3 million followers on Twitter to blast Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and played a part in the departure of Russia’s top space official.
Now Kelly, who said Russians that believe they’re defending themselves against Ukraine is the “stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” is putting his money where his mouth is by raising funds for an ambulance for Kyiv.
Trolling to oblivion
Kelly spent 340 days on the International Space Station with NASA as part of a program run in collaboration with Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.
But the former astronaut added “Russia troll” to his space voyaging resume after Putin sent troops into Ukraine, battling on Twitter with former Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin. Kelly joked that McDonald’s was hiring when Rogozin was fired by Putin in July.
In a call with Volodymyr Zelensky, Kelly said Ukraine’s president told him he had “trolled Russian propagandists into oblivion.”
But he also directed his anger at Russians more generally who endorse a message that Russia is defending itself from Ukrainian “Nazis”.
“Some Russians that I know feel like I do about this. Like, this is immoral. This is illegal. This is horrific. They have guilt over it, because it’s their country doing it,” Kelly told Insider.
But he said others, including a former Russian colleague on the space station, believed Russia was only defending itself.
“How you can come to that conclusion when your army invaded another country is beyond my comprehension, and is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. But these are people that I thought were smart. I thought they were empathetic, but they actually seem to believe this.
“And the only conclusion I can come to is that they’ve just been conditioned. And brainwashed over decades through their state-controlled media to believe certain things.”
Kelly has just raised $65,000 to supply an ambulance for Ukraine through United24, Zelenskyy’s main vehicle for collecting charitable donations to support his country.
He was offered an option to …read more
Source:: Business Insider