According to BILD (German edition), a number of Russian officials and functionaries are discussing a plan to use the Soyuz rocket for a large-scale terrorist attack in one of the cities of Ukraine. It is usually used to launch spacecraft into orbit, but terrorists plan to load it with several tons of explosives.
Russian Soyuz as the instrument of terrorism
The German edition of BILD announced that they had at their disposal an audio recording of a series of telephone conversations of the former head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, with officials and engineers. They discuss the possibility of using the Soyuz rocket to strike one of the big Ukrainian cities.
The first conversation that got into the recording was between Rogozin and the head of the Roscosmos subsidiary, the Progress Rocket and Space Center, Dmitry Baranov. This organization is engaged in the production of rockets for launching manned and transport spacecraft into orbit.
In conversation, they discuss the possibility of using the Soyuz rocket to drop several tons of explosives on one of the Ukrainian cities. In particular, it is planned to use not the Vostochny Cosmodrome on the border with China, but Plesetsk in the Arkhangelsk region. In this case, as Rogozin assures Baranov, it is possible to place not 6.5, but as many as 9 tons of explosives on it, considering that the maximum load will not be carried out for security reasons.
Soyuz is a bad weapon
There is indeed a complex at the Plesetsk Сosmodrome designed to launch the latest modifications of the Soyuz. And, as Baranov explains to Rogozin, there are no problems with deploying a 50-meter rocket in flight, where it is needed.
However, he sees the problem in another way: we are talking about the entry of a warhead into the atmosphere at supersonic speed. And not a single Russian bomb with conventional explosives is designed for this. TNT inside, at high temperatures, just starts to decompose.
So if you just load the Soyuz with FAB-500 bombs, then at best, the force of their explosion would be significantly less than if they were simply dropped from an airplane. Rogozin wants to find a solution to this problem by asking Yurii Solomonov, a rocket scientist who led the development of the Topol-M rocket in the 1990s.
Timing, accuracy and probability of failure
Another problem that Rogozin and Baranov discuss on record is security for Russia and Belarus. In particular, they are very interested in the width of the possible path of a rocket falling as a result of an accident and the probability that it will happen.
In addition, they are very concerned about the fact that the accuracy of hitting the target will be extremely low. The inaccuracy will be 50–100 km. Especially carefully, Rogozin asks Baranov about how long it is possible to prepare such a hit.
Baranov replies that it usually takes 6–9 months to calculate the trajectory of a rocket, but they have learned to do it in a month or two. Therefore, the upper time limit is actually 6 months.
Report to Putin
Interestingly, it follows from the conversation that Putin knows nothing about this initiative. Baranov and Rogozin in conversation do not call him by name at all, but they say “chief”, “supreme” or “great and terrible”. However, it seems that this whole plan is an initiative of the former head of Roscosmos from the very beginning.
Rogozin has officially had nothing to do with the Russian space program for more than a year and, in general, as reported, is in disgrace. Not the least role in this was played by his numerous antics during the management of Roscosmos: threats to withdraw from the ISS project, statements that he was monitoring NATO, and attempts to steal a German telescope.
However, Baranov still remains loyal to him, and it seems that he is not the only one. In the next conversation, Rogozin told Baranov that he had spoken with the head of Putin’s administration, Anton Vaino, and that he had conveyed this news to the Russian president and was ready to provide him with an official document on Monday with a plan for a terrorist attack.
According to BILD, Putin received a plan of attack on Ukraine by the Soyuz rocket on January 16, 2023. However, what he thinks about this remains unknown. Rogozin received an official position in early September. It’s probably because Putin is quite satisfied with it.
According to www.bild.de.
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