An 18 year old Mathias Rust illegally landed near Red Square in Moscow on May 28, 1987. An amateur pilot, he flew from Finland to Moscow, being tracked several times by Soviet air defence and interceptors. The Soviet fighters never received permission to shoot him down, and several times he was mistaken for a friendly aircraft. He landed on Vasilevsky Descent next to Red Square near the Kremlin in the capital of the Soviet Union.
Rust said he wanted to create an “imaginary bridge” to the East, and he has claimed that his flight was intended to reduce tension and suspicion between the two Cold War sides.Rust’s flight through a supposedly impregnable air-defense system had great effect on the Soviet military and led to the dismissal of many senior officers, including Defence Minister and the head of the Soviet Air Defense, former World War II fighter ace pilot. The incident aided Mikhail Gorbachev in the implementation of his reforms (by removing numerous military officials opposed to him), and reduced the prestige of the Soviet military among the populace, thus helping bring an end to the Cold War.