Russian Official: NASA Announced Mars Water Finding To Upstage Putin’s UN Speech

NASA’s dramatic September 28 announcement that it has found “the strongest evidence yet” of flowing water on Mars was momentous. But according to one Russian lawmaker, it had a more nefarious purpose.

Vyacheslav Nikonov, a Kremlin-loyal member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, has alleged that the U.S. space agency decided to time the announcement to distract the world’s attention from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech to the United Nations the same day.

“Putin’s speech was certainly the central element of the UN General Assembly session,” Nikonov was quoted by the state-run TASS news agency as saying on September 28.” … It is not surprising that the United States held a NASA news conference devoted to water found on Mars at the time when Putin was addressing the UN General Assembly.”

Putin spoke not long after U.S. President Barack Obama gave his own speech before the UN assembly. In their speeches, each accused the other’s government of fomenting instability in the world.