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Russian Air Traffic Controllers Order Pizzas for U.S. Colleagues Hit by Shutdown — Reports

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The Cold War can wait over a hot slice.

Taking a page out of their Canadian colleagues book, air traffic controllers based in Far East Russia have reportedly ordered pizza for their American neighbors across the Bering Strait.

Some 800,000 U.S. federal government workers – including an estimated 10,000 air traffic controllers – have been furloughed or forced to work without pay by a government shutdown that enters its 33rd day on Wednesday. Canadian and U.S. media reported earlier this month that air traffic controllers across Canada have banded together to order pizzas for their American colleagues in a show of support.

Last weekend, an unofficial air traffic controllers' group on Facebook reported that a group of Russian controllers repeated the gesture by ordering pizzas for their colleagues in Anchorage, some 3,000 kilometers away.

"ATC [Air traffic controllers] from Magadan ACC (Russia) ordered pizza for their colleagues in Anchorage Center as a sign of solidarity and support," the ATC Memes group said in a post accompanying an image of the pizza.

“We found the nearest pizza place on Google Maps, ordered it online, paid and gave the address,” Magadan-based dispatcher Dmitry Nikitin told Russian state-run television on Wednesday.

According to Rossia-24, Magadan air controllers ordered 10 mushroom, Margherita and pepperoni pizzas for their colleagues.

Nikitin’s colleague Alexander Khorev told the broadcaster that the Anchorage air traffic control center was “pleasantly surprised” by the gesture.

“That’s what sets northerners apart: They don’t leave each other high and dry and always support each other,” Khorev said.

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