MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti)
Russia's Space Forces launched on Monday a Soyuz-U carrier rocket with a Cosmos class military satellite on board, spokesman Lt. Col. Alexey Zolotukhin said.
The rocket lifted off from the Plesetsk space center in north Russia at 08.00 pm Moscow time (16.00 GMT).
"The rocket put the Cosmos-series military satellite into the designated orbit at 08.08 pm Moscow time [16.08 GMT]," Zolotukhin said, adding that the satellite was assigned the serial number Cosmos 2472.
The satellite is a new addition to a Russian network of about 60-70 military reconnaissance satellites, featuring updated imaging technology and an extended lifetime of up to seven years.
The Soyuz-U rocket is designed to orbit Soyuz and Progress manned and cargo spacecraft, as well as special-purpose satellites such as Cosmos, Resurs-F, Foton and Bion.
The rocket has payload of up to 6,950 kilograms. This was the first launch of a Soyuz-U rocket this year.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.