September 26, 2023

Descending from Roskosmos, Crashing in Zaporizhzhia


Descending from Roskosmos, Crashing in Zaporizhzhia
Dmitry Rogozin, former head of Roskosmos. Witness., Twitter.

On September 23, Dmitry Rogozin, the former head of the state space corporation Roskosmos, has been appointed senator for Zaporizhzhia Oblast, a new territory made up of lands taken from Ukraine.

Independent media outlet Meduza wrote of Rogozin, "[Russian president Vladimir] Putin loves him – and has for a long time." The former Roskosmos head's right-wing views propelled his career from the Transnistrian trenches to Russia's NATO ambassador. Rogozin also served as deputy prime minister in charge of the defense and space industries in the previous presidential terms of both Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin. In 2018, he landed at Roskosmos, where he started a TV channel for Roskosmos and released a space-related musical album.

Rogozin has a history of disrespectful bombast. He has called the Ukrainian president "[a] clown," insulted Montenegrins and Bulgarians, and threatened Romanians on Twitter, as well as calling for the genocide of Ukrainians.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Rogozin warned he would leave an American astronaut in space by not allowing him to board the Soyuz rocket back to Earth with his Russian colleagues. Despite being dismissed from Roskosmos in 2022, the 59-year-old maintained strong ties to the Kremlin and led battalion groups on the frontline in Donbas. There, he was injured by shrapnel during his birthday celebration.

The Human Rights Watch has denounced forced disappearances, torture, and killings of prisoners of war and civilians in the territory Rogozin now represents. 

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