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Kazakhstan protests Russian rocket launches from Baikonur 03 июля 2013, 17:41

A group of activists gathered near the Russian General Consulate in Almaty after the crash of Russian unmanned carrier rocket Proton-M at Baikonur.
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Photos of disabled children were attached to the letter. Photo by Roza Yessenkulova© Photos of disabled children were attached to the letter. Photo by Roza Yessenkulova©
A group of activists gathered near the Russian General Consulate in Almaty after the crash of Russian unmanned carrier rocket Proton-M at Baikonur, Tengrinews.kz reports. They brought a letter of protest where they called to review agreements renting out various sites in Kazakhstan, including Baikonur cosmodrome. “A big accident happened today. 500 tons of heptyl polluted the air and water. Baikonur citizens were told to stay home and keep their windows shut. We believe that a big damage was caused to our country and its citizens and Russia has to compensate it. No Russian rockets should be launched from Baikonur until Russia does that,” political expert Aidos Sarym told the journalists. The activists wrote a letter to Russian authorities in two languages and attached photos of children with congenial defects. The activists say that these are photos of victims of space tests. Besides, the activists prepared demotivators and posters saying “Close Russian polygons!” and “Heptyl is genocide” and others. “Russian rockets cripple Kazakhstan people, and if they are fine with children being born disabled, let them move these polygons to their lands,” Sarym said. 7 polygons rented from Kazakhstan for $27 million are almost the size of Europe, he added. But now it is impossible to plant anything on these lands. However, the Kazakhstan activists got no opportunity to pass the letter to any of the Russian diplomats personally. Nobody came out to meet them, although the citizens sent a notification to the consulate’s employees beforehand. A young man who introduced himself as a security service employee of the Russian embassy later approached the activists. “Your meeting is unauthorized and I am asking you to leave. If you don’t, we will have to take actions. There are currently no diplomats in the consulate, they are all out right now,” he said. "You can leave your letters in the box and we will consider them,” the man said and left immediately. “This is outrageous,” a prominent public figure of Kazakhstan and one of the campaign’s initiator Mukhtar Taizhan said. “We consider it, put it nicely, impolite on the side of the friendly country, Russia. The accident happened, but they did not even come out to talk to our citizens,” he added. The activists left the letter and photos of the disabled children in the box at the consulate’s entrance. “We will wait for their response,” Taizhan said. Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket [equipped with a DM-3 booster] carrying three Glonass-M navigation satellites crashed right after the lift-off at Kazakhstan-based Baikonur cosmodrome on July 2. By Roza Yessenkulova

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