A Lonely Vladimir Putin Looks On As Rocket Launch Fails

Russia’s president had hoped to enjoy a milestone rocket test from a Dr. Evil-esque mancave.

Russia excitedly prepared for the first flight of the Angara rocket, a $3 billion new-generation shuttle 20 years in the making, on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin awaited the launch sitting alone, Bond villain-style, at the head of a long table in a spacious room in the Kremlin.

But then, disaster struck — the rocket’s own safety system aborted the takeoff.

Russia’s technical elite looked on in horror.

A visibly crestfallen Putin ordered them to find out the reason for the failed launch in one hour.

“I’m sorry, Vladimir, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

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Max Seddon is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Kiev. Seddon reports on Ukraine and Russia. His secure PGP fingerprint is 6642 80FB 4059 E3F7 BEBE 94A5 242A E424 92E0 7B71
Contact Max Seddon at
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