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Hunger Strikes at Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome Ended After Minister Intervenes

Dmitry Rogozin

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Monday he resolved a labor strike at the building site of Russia's $3 billion new spaceport in the Far East that has been plagued by corruption allegations and construction delays.

Twenty-six workers began a hunger strike on Friday, joining over 100 laborers protesting delayed wage payments since last month, newspaper Vedomosti reported.

Rogozin, who took personal control of the cosmodrome project in September, wrote via Twitter on Monday: “The workers have confirmed to me that they are prepared to stay on site. Their working and living conditions will be improved. I am double-checking everything.”

Construction contractor Spetsstroy owes over 14 million rubles in unpaid wages, Vedomosti reported citing the Prosecutor General's Office. Several Spetsstroy officials have been arrested on corruption charges over the past year.

Federal Space Agency chief Igor Komarov said last week that the project is as much as 120 days behind schedule — jeopardizing President Vladimir Putin's target for a first launch in December.

It is unclear how worker strikes at the cosmodrome have impeded construction efforts.

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