Security breached at Russian rocket plant

Posted by Emma Woollacott

A young Russian blogger has revealed a total lack of security at a military rocket facility near Moscow.

Lana Sator says she and a group of friends were able to wander around the Energomash facility at will on five separate nights. She's posted around 100 pictures on her blog, snapped from areas all over the plant, including its control tower and roof.

Sator says it was easy to get in, as the perimeter fence was full of gaps and there were no staff to be seen on any of her visits. The gaps in the fence had appeared after a half-hearted attempt to repair it had left it in an even worse state than before.

"Judging by the tracks and their size, they have a lot of dogs, and they are large - but we've only become acquainted with a couple who hid in a shed to avoid the light from the lantern," she says.

Once inside, Sator was able to visit all parts of the unguarded plant, even snapping herself next to a security camera - which didn't appear to be hooked up to an alarm system.

The Energomash plant manufactures liquid-propellant engines for civilian and military rockets. It employs over 5,000 workers, and has been involved in the development of Russia's Soyuz rockets, on which the International Space Station now depends for supplies.

Russian officials have declared themselves horrified at the infiltration, with deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin promising to punish the 'sleepy cats' responsible.

Speaking to Russian news service Pravda, an official with the Russian space agency Roskosmos compared with incident to the landing of Mathias Rust on Red Square on May 28, 1987.

"It demonstrated our inability to defend anything," he said.

Russia's Federal Security Bureau is now investigating the incident.