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Putin Criticizes Officials For Cosmodrome Delays

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized officials for a four-month delay in building a sprawling space center in the Far East.

The construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome has been dogged by reports of corruption. Workers went on strike there in the spring because of unpaid wages and were compensated after appealing directly to Putin.

The directors of three subcontractors were later arrested on corruption charges.

Putin told officials during his visit to Vostochny on October 14 that he will press investigators to look into potential crimes and misdemeanors connected to the construction.

He also said he expects the first launch from Vostochny next year.

The construction of the space center will give Russia its own facility for manned space launches.

Russia is currently renting the Soviet-era launch pad in Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

Based on reporting by AP and Interfax