Video: Teenager Flies Plane Into Red Square During Cold War

If you’ve seen Moscow‘s imposing Red Square, still regularly patrolled by Russian guards, imagine seeing a plane land there. This Guardian video shows the story of Mathias Rust who, 25 years ago, flew through the Iron Curtain on a peace mission to “build an imaginary bridge” between cultures. He was an amateur 19-year-old pilot, and managed to fly from Helsinki to Moscow without being taken down by Soviet air defense. After circling a few times to show he intended to land, he stopped on a nearby bridge and drove the Cessna into Red Square like a car. Though he was greeted by happy and supportive spectators, it was the height of the Cold War, and he was subsequently arrested and sentenced to prison for four years. He served only 14 months, but the unbearable conditions made him question his actions. As he states in his current day interview, it’s remarkable to see how far one person can go.