On Gagarin flight anniversary, Putin vows Russia will stay area energy By Reuters

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© Reuters. A board with Yuri Gagarin’s portrait is seen on the eve of Cosmonautics Day, in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin marked the sixtieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic area flight on Monday with a pledge that Moscow would stay a key area and nuclear energy.

Gagarin turned the primary human in outer area on April 12, 1961, in one of many Soviet Union’s most vital Chilly Struggle victories and a pivotal second in its area race with the USA.

The Soviet Union’s achievements in area proceed to be a supply of nationwide pleasure and a patriotic rallying cry at a time when Moscow’s relations with Washington are at a post-Chilly Struggle low.

To mark the anniversary, Putin laid flowers on a monument to Gagarin close to his touchdown website near town of Engels, some 860 km (535 miles) southeast of Moscow.

“That is indisputably an incredible occasion that modified the world. We are going to at all times be proud that it was our nation that paved the highway to outer area,” Putin advised senior officers.

“Within the twenty first century, Russia should correctly preserve its standing as one of many main nuclear and area powers, as a result of the area sector is straight linked to defence.”

Gagarin’s 108-minute orbit across the Earth propelled him to worldwide fame and earned him the standing of nationwide hero within the Soviet Union, which erected statues and painted murals in his honour throughout its huge territory.

The pinnacle of Russian area company Roscosmos and members of the Communist Celebration laid flowers on Gagarin’s grave on the foot of the Kremlin wall on Monday.

Different commemorative occasions have been extra light-hearted, together with a neighbourhood clean-up within the Siberian metropolis of Irkutsk the place volunteers dressed up as characters from Star Wars.

Celebrations additionally passed off in area.

“Our scientists and engineers demonstrated the unquestionable superiority of our homeland’s know-how, and made us the (world’s) first area energy,” cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky mentioned in a video deal with from the Worldwide Area Station (ISS), flanked by three different Russian cosmonauts.

Roscosmos has suffered a collection of technical mishaps and corruption scandals lately, together with throughout the development of the Vostochny Cosmodrome within the nation’s far east the place contractors have been accused of embezzling state funds.

In 2019, Putin complained to authorities officers about corruption on the facility, and investigators mentioned they have been trying into allegations of fraud.

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