Proponents of the Lost Cosmonauts theory concede that Yuri Gagarin was the first man to survive space travel, but claim that the Soviet Union attempted to launch two or more manned space flights prior to Gagarin's, and that at least two cosmonauts died in the attempts. Another cosmonaut, Vladimir Ilyushin, is believed to have landed off-course and was held by the Chinese government. The Soviet government supposedly suppressed this information, to prevent bad publicity during the height of the Cold War.
Sounds very interesting. I would not be surprised if this turned out to be true. This kind of thing (covering up failures) was a common occurrence in the Cold War era.
When speaking to the media after practice on Wednesday, Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov treated reporters to a lengthy exchange on the American and Soviet/Russian space programs, eventually reaching the somber conclusion that too many monkeys have died ..