Moscow - (Pissed Press): Not to be outdone in the current round of international drinking brinksmanship stakes Russian space agency officials refused to back down today over reports that their own cosmanauts 'drank NASA pilots like Commander Bill Oelfelein under the table' aboard the International Space Station on more than a dozen occasions.
"These stories about the Americans being a bit tipsy on board their Voyager shuttle, pathetic!" said Igor Panarin, director of the Russian Space Agency Roskosmos.
"We run bar on the ISS. Our brave boys all trained at Boris Yeltsin School of Alcohol Consumption. We wiped floor with pansy-assed Yanks like Oelfeline. Is a matter of national pride. Trust me."
Meanwhile Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyov told reporters today that tight training requirements made it inconceivable that Russians could be out-drunk by anybody including the Americans.
"These cosmanauts, they are the elite of our society," Solovyov said.
"The remote possibility of failure dominates allr thoughts. In your head you know this is Russian state program and you get horrible punishment if pissed-as-farts Yanks drink you under table. Is inconceivable we ever lose.
And Cosmonaut Alexander Poleshchuk, a 1993 veteran of the Mir space station, told Russian TV news today that removing panels to hunt for Vodka was routine daily activity on board the facility "much the same as top domestic activity in a hundred million Russian homes every day of the week".
He said he agreed with fellow cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov who returned from the ISS in April 2005 claiming that the on-board distillation equipment was the Russians' pride and joy.
"We supplmented our wages that way by selling moonshine to the Americans.
"This helped everybody to work better and relieve the psychological stresses of being cooped up with our old enemies the Americans.
"And when everybody was pissed we would throw dice to see whose turn it was to shag Lisa Nowak.
"Trust me, you needed to be very drunk to go the full 15 rounds with that fat slag!"