7. The Death of a Cosmonaut
Some of the secrets came at a cost. Valentin Bondarenko, a cosmonaut, died a tragic death during a training exercise in Mar 1961. His death was not publicly acknowledged till 1986! His death was kept a secret to avoid bad publicity and of course to keep their space programs a secret.
6. One of the Worst Famines in History
Soviet famine of 1932 is considered to be one of the worst famines ever. The famine was a big one and so was the cover up that followed. Not just by Russia but by the outside world as well. Stalin in fact arranged foreign visits during which fake displays were put up and they misguided the visitors about the actual conditions there. The stage was set so perfectly that the Prime Minister of France described Ukraine as ‘a garden in full bloom’.
5. The Ekranoplan
American spy satellite took an image of a monster machine in 1966 and it left the experts baffled until 25 years later they came to know that it was an ekranoplan; sort of a mixture of a ship and plane. It was meant to fly a few feet above the sea. It was kept a secret and mentioning its name was prohibited even though a lot of money went into its production. These hybrids could carry tanks, hundreds of troops and what not! Their speed was an astonishing 300miles/hr. Russians went on to built one almost twice the size of a Boeing 747 which had six nuclear warheads on its top.
4. The Worst Rocket Disaster in History
During the launch preparations of R-16, a top secret rocket that made use of a new type of fuel, the rocket started leaking nitric acid. The officer in command, instead of giving the orders to evacuate, gave the order to start repair work and actually ordered more staff on site. Soon enough, the explosion occurred, claiming over a hundred lives. This happened on October 23rd 1960. The first published account of the incident appeared in 1989.