On 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's historic flight, President Vladimir Putin vows Russia will remain space power

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MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin marked the 60th day of Yuri Gagarin`s historical abstraction formation connected Monday with a pledge that Moscow would stay a cardinal abstraction and atomic power.

Gagarin became the archetypal quality successful outer abstraction connected April 12, 1961, successful 1 of the Soviet Union`s astir important Cold War victories and a pivotal infinitesimal successful its abstraction contention with the United States.

The Soviet Union`s achievements successful abstraction proceed to beryllium a root of nationalist pridefulness and a patriotic rallying outcry astatine a clip erstwhile Moscow`s relations with Washington are astatine a post-Cold War low.

To people the anniversary, Vladimir Putin laid flowers connected a monument to Gagarin adjacent his landing tract adjacent to the metropolis of Engels, immoderate 860 km (535 miles) southeast of Moscow.

"This is without a uncertainty a large lawsuit that changed the world. We volition ever beryllium arrogant that it was our state that paved the roadworthy to outer space," Putin told elder officials.

"In the 21st century, Russia indispensable decently support its presumption arsenic 1 of the starring atomic and abstraction powers, due to the fact that the abstraction assemblage is straight linked to defence."

Gagarin`s 108-minute orbit astir the Earth propelled him to planetary fame and earned him the presumption of nationalist leader successful the Soviet Union, which erected statues and painted murals successful his honour crossed its immense territory.

The caput of Russian abstraction bureau Roscosmos and members of the Communist Party laid flowers connected Gagarin`s sedate astatine the ft of the Kremlin partition connected Monday.

Other commemorative events were much light-hearted, including a neighbourhood clean-up successful the Siberian metropolis of Irkutsk wherever volunteers dressed up arsenic characters from Star Wars.

Celebrations besides took spot successful space.

"Our scientists and engineers demonstrated the unquestionable superiority of our homeland`s technology, and made america the (world`s) archetypal abstraction power," cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky said successful a video code from the International Space Station (ISS), flanked by 3 different Russian cosmonauts.

Roscosmos has suffered a bid of method mishaps and corruption scandals successful caller years, including during the operation of the Vostochny Cosmodrome successful the country`s acold eastbound wherever contractors were accused of embezzling authorities funds.

In 2019, Putin complained to authorities officials astir corruption astatine the facility, and investigators said they were looking into allegations of fraud.