Soviet Union Current Affairs - 2020

International Day Against Nuclear Tests observed on August 29

The International Day Against Nuclear Tests is observed across every year across the world on 29 August with aim to raise awareness about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions.

Purpose of this day: (i) To promote peace and security world-wide and calls for urgent need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devastating effects on humankind, environment and the planet. (ii) To highlight urgent need for cessation of nuclear weapons as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

About International Day Against Nuclear Tests

It was officially proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by unanimously adopting Resolution 64/35 in December 2009 initiated by Kazakhstan with support of large number of sponsors and cosponsors. It was observed for first time in 2010 and since then observed annually to galvanize necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests.

Why August 29? It seeks to commemorate closure of Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site (also known as The Polygon) on 29 August 1991. This nuclear test site was the primary testing venue for nuclear weapons of then Soviet Union. It is located on steppe in northeast Kazakhstan (then Kazakh SSR part of USSR), south of valley of the Irtysh River. On this test site, Soviet Union had conducted total 456 nuclear tests from 1949 until 1989 (340 underground and 116 atmospheric explosions i.e. roughly equivalent of 2500 Hiroshima atomic bombs) with little regard for their ill-effects of radiation on local people or environment.

International Day of Human Space Flight 2019

International Day of Human Space Flight 2019 was observed on April 12 to commemorate the date of the first human space flight in the history of mankind.

Genesis of the International Day of Human Space Flight

It was on April 12, 1961, Soviet Union (USSR) Cosmonaut  Yuri Gagarin undertook first successful first human space flight. This historic event opened the way for space exploration for the benefit of all humanity.

On April 7, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution and declared 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Flight for

  • Celebrating each year at the international level the beginning of the space era for mankind
  • Reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals.
  • Increasing the well-being of States and peoples, as well as ensuring the realization of their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.

In Russia and some other former USSR countries, this historic day is celebrated as Cosmonautics Day.