MOSCOW: Soviet Cosmonaut Andrian Nikola­yev said yesterday [July 9] that there should be a woman aboard any space flight lasting a year or more, “or we will be condemned to live in in­­d­­escribable disorder”. Nikolayev’s remark brou­ght a wave of laughter at a Press conference he participated in yesterday with Vitali Sevastia­n­ey. The two men established a record when they spent 18 days in space last month aboard “Soyuz-9”. The usually taciturn Nikolayev got another laugh when he commented, “if Sevas­ti­­­a­­ney was as untalkative as me, the whole fli­ght would have taken place in total silence”.

[Meanwhile, as reported by another agency in Moscow,] Young Russian poetess Natalya Gorbanevskaya has been declared not responsible for her actions after being investigated for alleged anti-Soviet slander, sources close to dissident intellectual circles said yesterday [July 9]. A hearing of her case by the Moscow city court decided that she should be detained in a mental institution. ...

The poetess was arrested last December in connection with alleged anti-Soviet slander, apparently after police seized underground documents in her flat. She was among a group of dissidents detained after protesting in Red Square in August 1968 against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2020