Its a shocking video. You are about to hear Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov's last words, as he descends full-speed to crash onto Earth. The incident was recorded by the U.S. intelligence service.
The story goes back in 1967, when Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union, decided that a spectacular space-rendezvous should take place to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Communist revolution. The plan was to launch Soyuz 1 with Vladimir Komarov. Komarov would orbit for a day, and on the next day a second capsule would take off with two additional cosmonauts. The two capsules would meed into space, dock, and Komarov would exchange vehicles.
But Vladimir Komarov knew that Soyuz 1 had many problems and probably he would die. Komarov was a very close friend with Yuri Gagarin, who was by then already a Soviet hero, as he was the first man in space. Gagarin and some technicians had inspected the vehicle and had found 203 serious structural problems.
Gagarin suggested that the flight should be postponed. He wrote a 10-page report and gave it to a friend of him in the KGB, Venyamin Russayev. Nevertheless, the report never reached the hands of Brezhnev (no one dared to pass it through the hierarchy chain). Whoever read this report (including Russayev) was demoted, fired or sent to diplomatic Siberia.
Little before the launch, Russayev asked Komarov, Why not refuse?. It is said that Komarov answered:
If I don't make this flight, they'll send the backup pilot instead and he'll die instead of me. We've got to take care of him.
The backup pilot was Yuri Gagarin. Vladimir Komarov would not let his friend die instead of him. "That's Yura" he seems to have said, and burst into tears.
April 23, 1967, launch day. A Russian journalist, Yaroslav Golovanov, reported that Gagarin showed up at the launch site and demanded to be put into a spacesuit, though no one was expecting him to fly. The Soyuz finally left Earth with Komarov on board.
The problems began immediately after Soyuz began to orbit the Earth. The antennas didn't open properly, power was compromised, navigation proved difficult. The launch of the next had to be canceled.
When Soyuz 1 began its descent, the parachutes failed to open. By then, Komarov knew he was going to die. That is when the intelligence office picked up Komarov crying of rage heading to his death. Some translators heard him saying: