The frigid cold of space held no fear for Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov. Growing up in central Siberia at the height of Stalin’s purges, he had seen far worse times. One of the most traumatic was in January 1938. He was just four months shy of his fourth birthday when neighbours in the tiny village of Listvyanka, near the point where the Angara River leaves Lake Baikal, arrived in the bitterness of midwinter to strip bare his family’s belongings, their clothes, their meagre furniture and even their food. The young boy, one of a dozen Leonov children, was even told to remove his trousers. It was the punishment meted out by the harsh Soviet regime on Arkhip Leonov, a staunch Bolshevik falsely accused of being an ‘enemy of the people’. He had, it was said, deliberately allowed seeds for the next year’s harvest to dry out.
KeywordsState Commission Space Suit Chief Designer Commanding Officer Fighter Pilot
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