Yuri Gagarin has always been honored as the first man in space. Now Pravda reports that he had 3 predecessors who got up there too, in suborbital flights. But they died along the way.
So the Soviets kept that quiet. Typical.
In the early days of the Soviet space program, they didn't pre-announce their flights. They just told you about them once they were successful. We were always kind of suspicious about this.
Gagarin eventually died in a training flight of a jet aircraft, a MiG-15UTI.
Of course, this new report takes nothing away from Gagarin.
He was a brave and able man
Shot into space in a thin metal can.