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Putin orders evacuation of entire Russian village as missile poised for blast off in hours

NewsPutin orders evacuation of entire Russian village as missile poised for blast off in hours

Vladimir Putin’s plans for an inaugural spaceship flight to the moon have seen a rural community in a remote Russian territory ordered to completely evacuate.

Residents of Shakhtinskiy, located around 3,450 miles east of Moscow, will be relocated due to concerns about potential debris fallout from the forthcoming Luna-25 missile launch on Friday.

The settlement is located in the Khabarovsk region of Russia’s Far East, and it is within the large estimated area where remains from the initial rocket stage are expected to fall following the launch of the Moscow lunar lander-carrying Soyuz-2 Fregat booster rocket.

Officially, the town has 56 residents who are currently protesting this decision. They have expressed fear that their well-being may be jeopardised, and they are concerned about potential health implications.

“I cannot understand anything about this,” said one. “Why evacuation and not resettlement?

“Will the area be contaminated? How long will it take?” Another said: “What kind of fuel is there [in the booster] and how much will be left?”

Russia is embarking on a lunar journey for the first time in nearly 50 years. This mission, like previous Soviet Union missions, will be carried out without the presence of humans on board.

The project, which has been authorised by Putin, is set to probe the moon’s southern pole.

Alexei Maslov, the head of Verkhnebureinsky district said: “The mouth of the Umalta, Ussamakh, Lepikan, Tastakh, Saganar rivers and the area of the ferry crossing on the Bureya River fall into the predicted (booster) fall zone.”

He added: “It is banned to go into the area where the launch missile debris is likely to fall.”

The aim of the lunar mission will be the development of soft-landing technologies, research of the internal structure of the Moon and exploration for resources, including water.

The lander is expected to operate on the lunar surface for one year.

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