Mathias Rust's 'Imaginary Bridge'
Pilot Mathias Rust flew from Finland to Moscow to ease Cold War Tensions
During the Cold War era, 18-year-old Mathias Rust from West Germany flew from Finland to Moscow and illegally landed near the Red Square. Rust's plane was mistaken for a friendly aircraft and was thus able to enter what was deemed the most impenetrable air-defense system in the world. The West's fears of the East were reduced by Mathias' ability to enter Russia unharmed. Mathias' aim was to create an 'imaginary bridge' over the Iron Curtain between the West and the East in order to ease Cold War tensions. Two months after Rust's landing, the leaders of the USA and the Soviet Union signed a treaty to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe. This daring feat by Mathias Rust acted as a catalyst for the strengthening of relations between the West and the East, helping bring an end to the Cold War era. His message of unity and peace was shared around the world.