Friday, August 3, 2012

Where Is Mathias Rust Today?

Twenty five years ago a German teenager named Mathias Rust famously flew a light aircraft into the Soviet Union, landing in Red Square.  On this date 24 years ago, he was released from custody after spending 14 months in a Moscow prison (despite having been sentenced formally to four years in a Russian labor camp). 

You can watch a 5 minute retrospective HERE, which initially aired on Deutsche Welle just a few months ago. It includes an interview with the now 44-year old Mathias Rust.

Why did he do it as a 19 year-old back in 1987?  "For World Peace," Rust explains. He was inspired by a German comic book hero like Flash Gordon, apparently, and believed that Reagan and Gorbachev were incapable of resolving the differences between the Super Powers following the break-down of talks at  a recent summit.

"In later years Rust's fortunes took a dive," this Deutsche Welle segment concludes. "He was convicted of attempted manslaughter, shoplifting, and fraud.  Rust says he's now working as a financial analyst."

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