On June 3, 1973, a Tu-144 crashed at the XXX Paris International Air Show in Le Bourget during its demonstration flight. This happened near the town Goussainville, six and a half kilometers from the airport of Le Bourget. The commission investigating the causes of the catastrophe did not identified any malfunctions of the airplane. There were several hypotheses about
human factors that perhaps led to the crash. However, once all of the facts were found, there was no evidence either to reinforce or disprove these suppositions. In these circumstances, the commission and the Soviet experts came to the conclusion that the causes of the accident should be declared as not defined, and the case was closed.
As Habarnew recalls, 1977-1979 were the years when Russian-Chinese tensions were at their peak. And the memories of the Russian border guards serving there at these times matched the situation: "At that time we always went patrolling in pairs. It was not a big pleasure to meet such a gang from the other side. We tried to detect
them earlier than they could see us. However once I happened to face three of them alone. It was stupid thing to do on my part." According to those memories, Chinese border guards sometimes offered to buy things from the Russians, teased them or simply made obscene gestures, such as in the next two photos: