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Outrage in Russia as monument to world’s first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin found dumped in pile of garbage & rubble on Sakhalin Island

Outrage in Russia as monument to world’s first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin found dumped in pile of garbage & rubble on Sakhalin Island
The head of Russia’s Space Agency has asked the authorities in the country’s Sakhalin Region to provide an explanation after a bas-relief monument to the first-ever cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, was found among a large pile of garbage.

Writing on Telegram on Wednesday, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin called for the situation to be “sorted out.”

“Roscosmos will ask the Sakhalin authorities today for explanations and a demand to restore the monument,” Rogozin wrote.

The monument was found amongst rubble and trash on the bank of a river in Nevelsk, a small port town on the island of Sakhalin, in the Pacific Ocean. The statue previously stood at the entrance to the settlement but was knocked down to be replaced by a gas station.

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After the story broke, Sakhalin Region Governor Valery Limarenko demanded that the monument be fixed and placed in a prominent place in Nevelsk.

“It is a disrespectful attitude to history and to the great past of our country,” Limarenko said, “The bas-relief of Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin must be restored as soon as possible, and by September 1, he must be found a decent place in the center of the city.”

The monument of Gagarin was first placed at the entrance to Nevelsk in 2007. According to the district head, Alexey Shabelnik, it was removed due to the fact that it was in very poor condition and “could not be repaired.”

“Last year, we opened a new square named after Gagarin, with a new composition dedicated to him,” Shabelnik said. “The old one was dismantled, but I need to figure out why it was found lying on the beach.”

2021 marks the 60th anniversary of the first space flight in the history of mankind, when Gagarin orbited the Earth in the Russian spaceship Vostok 1.

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