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The Phys.org article Russia to give cosmonauts guns to fend off animals on landing says:

Cosmonauts have been unarmed for more than a decade but Roscosmos agency head Dmitry Rogozin said it was time to bring back weapons as manned launches move to the Russian Far East.

"It's possible that landings will also be in this area, which is not populated, with forest and forest-steppe, and cosmonauts are saying that it would be good to have (a weapon) in the kit," Rogozin said.

"This weapon is already being tested," Rogozin added.

"I think in a year and a half, most likely, highly likely (it would become) part of the cosmonauts' kit," TASS news agency reported him as saying.

"It would be for crew support in terms of being able to fire flare signals as well as in terms of a weapon that may be needed in a wild forest," he added.

Earlier Oleg Kononenkov, a Russian cosmonaut who commanded an ISS crew that recently returned to Earth, said extra tools could be necessary in the wilderness.

"It's possible that it's rough terrain, that we may need a special knife to build shelter, and perhaps we need a weapon, because of wild animals," he told journalists Tuesday.

From the 1980s, cosmonauts carried a TP-82 three-barrel pistol, whose butt also concealed a machete. The weapon was removed from the approved emergency kit in 2007.

The highlighted section indicates that cosmonauts will be landing in unpopulated areas (as they are currently, no?) and that those areas may be "forest and forest-steppe".

Questions:

  1. Why the potential change in landing area?
  2. Which animals might pose a threat?
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    $\begingroup$ Animals: bears & wolves & if it's mating season, they can be more aggressive than usual. It was something that was on people's minds when Voshkod 2 landed in the wrong place. $\endgroup$ – Fred Sep 19 '19 at 6:53
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose it's planned for manned launches from Vostochniy cosmodrome. $\endgroup$ – Heopps Sep 19 '19 at 9:04
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    $\begingroup$ Roscosmos did not send any appeals about the inclusion of firearms in the wearable emergency reserve of сcosmonauts for the Orel spaceship, previously known as the Federation. This was announced on Monday by TASS general director of NPP Zvezda (the company that collects these sets) Sergei Pozdnyakov. tass.ru/kosmos/6889495 $\endgroup$ – A. Rumlin Sep 19 '19 at 9:28
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    $\begingroup$ but "“Given that we are transferring manned programs to the Vostochny spaceport, this may also mean a promising landing of the spaceship in this area, sparsely populated, wooded, forest-steppe, cosmonauts speak out that it would be good if there was something like that in the kit. Of course, "A modern model. To provide support for the crew in terms of signal lights and in terms of weapons that may be needed in the wild forest," said the head of Roscosmos." tass.ru/kosmos/6898183 $\endgroup$ – A. Rumlin Sep 19 '19 at 9:30

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