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Kazakh Activist Detained While Protesting Launches

Kazakh police have detained another activist for protesting the launches of Russian Proton space rockets from Kazakh soil.

Rakhat Ikibaev staged his protest in front of the Kazakh Space Agency in Astana on January 22.

Earlier this month, three activists were detained and later fined for similar protests. Also on January 22, Kazakhstan’s opposition National Social Democratic Party issued a statement calling on the Kazakh government to stop all launches from the Baikonur space complex in central Kazakhstan.

In July, a Russian Proton rocket exploded shortly after takeoff. The burning rocket fuel created a toxic cloud, angering Kazakh authorities who say such failures damage the environment and pose a health threat to people.

In November, Astana officially requested almost $90 million in financial compensation from Russia for the rocket crash.
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