Prominent British blogger visits Baikonur

He and his fellow traveler from Belarus tried to sneak into a closed area

According to news reports from Baikonur Cosmodrome, local authorities detained Benjamin Rich from the U.K and Alina Tseliupa from Belarus as they had tried to penetrate the closed area near Site No. 112 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They were charged with unsanctioned entry to a guarded site, an administrative offense that was punished with a fine of about $74, and driven out of town.

The information about the incident went viral when Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, a space agency in Russia, posted the news on Telegram. According to Rogozin, both foreigners have been put in custody while the investigation has been launched.

Benjamin Rich, better known by his YouTube channel name Bald and Bankrupt, is an English travel vlogger and author. As of March 2022, his main channel had 3.50 million subscribers and 492 million views. According to Radio Liberty in Belarus, the blogger is well-known in the country as he made dozens of video publications about Belarus.

Benjamin Rich has been engaged in the activities linked to the Bald and Bankrupt and Benjamin Rich channels on YouTube since с 2018.

In his video, Rich shows unexpected tourist sites like the cheapest barbershop in Myanmar. Also, he traveled through Dagestan, India, Belarus and Ukraine. While he was in Donbas he said that his main goal is to see a Soviet-era mosaic of cosmonauts in Lysychansk.

The defining characteristic of Rich’s channel is his interest in the post-Soviet states.

On 12 April 2018, under the pen name Arthur Chichester, Rich released the book The Burning Edge: Travelling Through Irradiated Belarus about his experiences traveling through the parts of Belarus affected by the Chornobyl disaster.

This is not the first case when foreign bloggers tried to sneak into Site 112 where the space shuttle Buran is housed. Many of them were obsessed with the idea to take a picture in the shuttle’s cabin.

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