It seems that Russians and Roscosmos were given a green light, a go ahead to build the Vostochny Cosmodrome, or Eastern Spaceport by 2018. They planned on spending \$1 billion on its construction in 2013 alone, and the project is estimated at a total of \$10 billion. At least according to this article in Huffington Post, while some older articles put it at est. \$13.5 billion.
But the whole project seems to have a lot of opposition, well, questioning its usefulness at least, and even Anatoly Zak has an article on his webpage titled The real rocket to nowhere: The strange case of Soyuz in Vostochny. To sum up his arguments:
- Vostochny was designed to free Russia from dependency upon the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is located in a foreign country, and to provide an anchor in the sparsely populated but strategically important Far East;
- The new Rus-M rocket was to launch commercial and the larger, next generation human spacecraft from the new spaceport;
- Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin canceled Rus-M after taking over the agency last year because it was redundant to the Angara rocket, which was finally nearing its first flights after nearly two decades in development;
- Popovkin decided to bring the Soyuz-2 rocket to Vostochny in order to meet a political deadline of flying something by 2015;
- This plan makes no sense for commercial launches because the Soyuz rocket has less lifting capacity from Vostochny than from the brand new launch complex at Kourou in French Guiana;
- The Soyuz spacecraft lacks the ability to make high-precision emergency landings in the rugged, heavily-wooded terrain of the Far East, making Vostochny useless for human missions at present;
- The 2015 deadline is unrealistic, with the first launch from Vostochny unlikely to occur until 2018 at the earliest due to construction delays;
- The Russian military has no interest in the civilian spaceport, preferring to launch Angara rockets from its newly constructed launch complex at Plesetsk;
- Just about every other government ministry — including the aviation agency, Rosaviatsiya — have tried to avoid any involvement in Roscosmos’ new spaceport.
This is a lot to process, so I won't be asking about all these points. The sentiment of the story is rather clear though, and most of Anatoly's opinions seem well substantiated that the proposed spaceport, now already in construction, might not be as useful as some of the Russian politicians and Roscosmos are hoping it will be (even though there's many news articles writing that Russians will remain open to European space programmes, and possibly others too with their new spaceport).
However, Anatoly mostly discusses the new spaceport from the perspective of what was known for the proposed 2015 start of operations. This date has by now changed to 2018, and plans for the spaceport's purpose have likely changed substantially by now, too. My question is, for the time being (I might have follow-up questions later on):
What launch vehicle families is Roscosmos hoping to operate from the future Eastern Spaceport starting from 2018? Are there any LV families in development that would find their new home at Vostochny Cosmodrome, perhaps the rumoured revival of the Energia super-heavy booster rocket?