MOSCOW, April 8. /TASS/. A red banner symbolising the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany was handed to the head of the Russian Cosmonaut Training Center on Wednesday for future delivery to the International Space Station (ISS).
The banner, a replica of the Soviet flag raised by three Red Army soldiers on the Reichstag building in Berlin, on April 30, 1945, will be sent to the International Space Station on board the Progress cargo spacecraft on April 28 ahead of the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany.
The banner was handed to Cosmonaut Training Center chief Yuri Lonchakov by cosmonauts Alexey Leonov, the first man to conduct a spacewalk, and Vladimir Shatalov, a World War II veteran.
"The banner will be unfolded at the ISS [on May 9] in honour of the Victory over Nazi Germany," Lonchakov said adding that the relic would not be taken to outer space.
"Today many countries are trying to rewrite history but we will not let them do it," he added.
Leonov recalled that the world witnessed Yuri Gagarin’s historic spaceflight just 15 years after the war.
"We, the first cosmonauts, were children during the wartime and had to taste the bitterness of war but we followed a new path and have never and nowhere brought shame on our fathers," Leonov said.
The Victory Banner has been kept at the Central Museum of the Russian Armed Forces since June 1945. The banner’s replica is currently used at Victory Day parades held in Moscow’s Red Square on May 9 each year.