Moscow, 3 September 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an agreement to build a new city to be named Sputnik, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East said on Friday.
Putin inked the plan while attending an economic forum in the far-eastern city of Vladivostok.
Under the plans, Sputnik will be built some 30 kilometres outside Vladivostok, relatively close to the Chinese border, and is intended to be an industrial centre that will one day be home to 300,000 people.
Sputnik, which means companion in Russian, was the name of the world’s first satellite, launched into space by the Soviet Union in 1957, causing an upset for the US amid the Cold War space race.
Then, last summer, Russia became the first country to release a Covid-19 vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V in honour of its space race victory. The vaccine is now approved in about 70 countries.
The agreement to build the new city follows earlier suggestions by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu for the construction of several new cities in eastern Siberia to make the remote region more attractive.
Russians are increasingly drawn to the capital, Moscow, however, which has better infrastructure than any other city in Russia, as well as far more opportunities for employment.