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Russian Rocket Or Missile Crashes After Launch

Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry says an experimental rocket or missile crashed shortly after being launched on April 22 in the northwestern region of Arkhangelsk.

Ministry officials said the rocket or missile was launched from Plesetsk -- a major facility for both unmanned space rocket and missile launches -- and crashed after flying 10 kilometers, falling near the village of Zabolotye.

It was not immediately clear what type of missile or rocket was launched and what its purpose was.

Representatives of the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN), the military branch responsible for Russia's intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), said it had no information about the incident.

Officials at Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, which develops missiles for the military, said that no launches on its behalf had been conducted in the last 24 hours from Plesetsk.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said the missile's fuel and components posed no risk to the environment.

Russia's space program and its efforts to develop new nuclear missiles have been undermined by several failed launches.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax and TASS

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