A British YouTuber has been detained detained at the Russian spaceport of Baikonur in Kazakhstan, officials said tonight.
Rich Benjamin, known by his video blogging account, Bald and Bankrupt, along with a Belarusian woman were apprehended near one of the launch pads at Baikonur and are being held by city authorities.Dmitry Rogozin, chief of space agency Roscosmos, said on Telegram that Benjamin and Alina Tseliupa had been ‘linked to the organisation of illegal actions’, but gave no further details. He added that investigations are ongoing.
Benjamin has more than 3.5 million followers on his YouTube channel, which has recently included videos from the Ukrainian border.
His most popular clip, viewed some 10 million times, documented a trip to Moldova, and was titled ‘Nobody Visits This Country…Find Out Why’.
Some of Benjamin’s videos feature a woman called Alina but it was not immediately clear whether she and Tseliupa were the same person.
The most recent video on Rich’s channel was filmed in Syria and posted on April 24. In an Instagram post last week, Rich said ‘Syrian suntan and back in a country with Soviet mosaics’ but did not specify where he was.
In London, Britain’s foreign ministry did not have an immediate comment.
Baikonur, once a closed Soviet city, is now open to tourists who apply for permission from Roscosmos. It lies in the steppe around 1,100 km (680 miles) southwest of the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan.