As tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to mount, one party on Thursday seemingly took a new approach in calling for a détente between the two nations: By literally writing the word "relax" with an airplane.
The plane, an Airbus that was run by Air Moldova, the national airline of Ukraine's southern neighbor, actually took the time to fly near the Ukrainian border in a pattern that spelled out the word 'relax.'
Many people who wanted to follow the flight did so on the flight-tracking website flightradar24, where the plane was designated by the callsign RELAX, though it was registered as ER-AXR.
According to flightradar24 the flight had taken off from the Moldovian capital of Chisinau and flew for almost two hours before landing back at the same airport.
But did this actually happen, or is this merely a hoax perpetrated by people on the Internet to pick up on the rising tensions between Moscow and Kyiv that threaten to spill out into war?
This incident is actually genuine. Flightradar24 is a reputable flight-tracking site and it legitimately showed this exact pattern being flown. A spokesperson even confirmed to VICE that "The aircraft is indeed flying this pattern above Moldova."
Has this happened before?
It wouldn't be the first time people have capitalized on the major geopolitical crisis for the sake of Internet clout. This is best illustrated by the recent trend over social media where Gen Z users comment on unofficial Russian President Vladimir Putin accounts on Instagram to ask him not to invade Ukraine, with such gems as "Vladdy daddy please no war" and "Mercurys in retrograde Vladdy this isn't you."
Further, it does seem somewhat strange that a plane would take off from an airport, fly for almost two hours only to land right back at the same place.
Unfortunately for those rooting for airplane flight pattern writing diplomacy to save the day and avert World War III, the truth of the matter is that while this did in fact happen, it had nothing to do with Ukraine.
Rather, the entire event was an elaborate publicity stunt to advertise for the launch of Radio Relax Moldova, a new radio station in the country.
The event was even shown on the radio station's Instagram story, hilariously pointing out that they were, quite literally, "on air."
Whether the station's stunt helps them take off remains to be seen, but they certainly picked an opportune time for advertising.
Reuters contributed to this report.