The last citizen of the Soviet Union

Imagine leaving your country … and when you return, it no longer exists. Or at least it’s someone else, it’s someone else. What if you were so far away that you didn’t even know what happened? As far as … in space. That happened to Sergei Krikaliov. He left the earth when the Soviet Union, his homeland, still existed. While I was up there, the USSR ceased to exist as such. When he was finally able to return almost forgotten, he was called the last citizen of the Soviet Union.

The last citizen of the Soviet Union, a cosmonaut.
The last citizen of the Soviet Union, a cosmonaut.
The USSR fell apart

The collapse and disintegration of the Soviet Union left Sergei Krikalyov stuck in space. His stay was 5 months longer than he owed. The space travel lasted 311 days, 20 hours and 1 minute on board the Mir space station. Originally, his mission should have ended in October 1991. However, the political situation and the deep economic crisis in the country had consequences. Among other things, the Russian space agency remained without money. He could not return until March 25, 1992. All this time the cosmonaut watched helplessly from space. Below are the events that took place 400 km away.

When he returned, the Soviet Union was divided into 15 different nations. The presidents were no longer the same and even his hometown Leningrad no longer had the same name. It was called St. Petersburg again.

“”I lived on the territory of Russia while the republics in the USSR remained united. And now I am returning to Russia, which is united in the Commonwealth of Independent States. So the change is not that bigSergei Krikaliov said just before he returned to earth. In reality, Krikaliov was returning to a completely different world. In March 1992 nothing was like before. Not even in your home. The Krikalyov family had a privileged situation with an income that was well above the Soviet average. Now it was difficult for him to make ends meet. Back then, Sergei was hardly making the equivalent of $ 10 a month.

The USSR disintegrated while the cosmonaut was in space. You almost forgot about him.
The USSR disintegrated while the cosmonaut was in space. You almost forgot about him.
Deserter in space

Trthus the dismemberment of the Soviet Union caused the military files of Krikaliov to pass the reserve. His absence from the relevant military dependencies almost resulted in a desertion order being issued against him. Until his superiors found out. It wasn’t even on the planet.

Despite this experience, the last citizen of the Soviet Union did not hesitate to return to space. And he became one of the crew members of the first joint US / Russian space mission on a shuttle in 1994. The STS-60, which made 130 orbits around our planet. We imagine that when he returned he looked around anxiously to see if anything else had changed.

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