Some readers from Russia have not been so happy with us westerners telling the story of ‘their’ hero Gagarin. This we can understand. But we want to tell our young people about an achievement that they don’t know so much about. Gagarin’s flight reshaped not just Russia but the whole world of international space and technology.Stalin and his times do play a key role in Yuri’s Day. His achievements were epic, but history is not best served by pretending that he was a saint. For the record: Russia is wonderful! Its space effort was heroic! Communism and socialism should have been very great experiments in reshaping human society. On a global level, we have thrown many of these ideals away too casually. Perhaps the so-called western ‘victory’ in the Cold War was hollow. Certainly capitalism on its own, without the social conscience of a big alternative idea, has created huge failures and injustices.

Cruel events (such as shown in Yuri’s Day, when Korolev is arrested for no reason) can happen in any country, not just Russia. And they are always a tragedy. And yes, ‘our’ western world has also committed many sins of cruelty and murder. Hitler set the standard for industrialised horror and murder. Russians made huge sacrifices and defetated his assault on their lands. Without that victory, western Europe probably would not have been saved from his terror.

The fact that so many of Russia’s great heroes not only survived such dreadful times, but went on to make great victories for Russia is a testament to the human spirit.

We foolish westerners have no doubt made many stupid mistakes in our telling of Gagarin’s story – and for this, we can only say that the form of a short graphic presentation does require some simplifications – but the wider story that we have told is fair and honest, and we never, ever doubt Gagarin and Korolev’s status as heroes!

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  1. tovarisch Dmitry

    On Russian TV(authority oriented) showing as Mr.Leonov criticise this text. Criticise these negative facts as Stalin horror and murder.
    But I reading this story with no doubt, what it is all fair and honest. And some fact in this text I have know at first. Please continue!
    Unfortunately, Russians always, and now to be and will be prisoners in his brains – because lives during always despites authorities. And nowatimes too.

    Good luck!

  2. Demiorg

    As far as I can see on the preview, you guys REALLY need to be educated on this subject, or ask someone who knows better.

    Dear Comrade Dmitry, I am sorry, but only sertain people have no doubts.

  3. Strannik

    tovarisch, you seem to be a very smart person – studying the soviet history by an english graphic novel… You are on the right way 🙂

  4. tovarisch

    Strannik, did you study soviet history by KPSS books ? 🙂
    This text isnt soviet history as I think.

    In additional, I dont think this story builds using KPSS book only 🙂

  5. Viacheslav

    the thing is that you are playing with quite sensitive matters for Russians. Space flight is one of three greatest things Russia did in the XX century, the two others being reshaping the world with the October revolution and with the victory in World War II. As te old system is lost and old interpretations with it too, we are desperately looking to find peace and proper interpretation of the socialism era. And we are equally fed full both with the soviet-style propaganda and with the Western-based clichee about Stalin’s ulag and all that. So every time we find the same very clichee in touch with our sensitive matters, many people would feel that as an attack to a thing that we still believe to be ours.

    It’s very difficult to accept Stalin’s USSR with all its glory and tragedy happening in one country and with the same people at the same times. You tend to get biased to one or other directions, to praise or to blame, but not both at the same time. While really, you have to accept both sides to understand that period, and accept both its glory and achivements and bitter tragedies caused by the way the social elevator worked in those days.

    It will take another fifty years before peace can be achieved in these matters. That’s why a foreigner must be careful here.

  6. Azazello

    Strannik Respect 4U…5+++

  7. P Hodkinson

    Dear Demiorg,
    I agree with you. Our original preview failed to give a balanced impression of the story inside. It simply showed the first few dramatic opening pages. I have now changed them to show a more balanced selection.

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