The stupidity and incompetence of the guy running the show was made evident and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt with his stupid trampoline comments, his retarded accusations about Americans drilling holes in Soyuz and with his Moon landing conspiracies
Yeah, most US Astronauts are ex military... are you honestly sure they wouldn't try a bit of sabotage... the amount of hate from the US towards the Russians has been rather intense... black lives matter and a child can pick from any gender of which there now seem to be more genders than moods, but you can't question any of that in the west, but you can say anything you like about Russians... you can bet your ass if they found holes drilled in the US section they would be happy to blame Russia or China or North Korea or Iran or Cuba... they are not ones to let facts get in the way of a good story...
The plan for a small shuttle goes back to the 70´s. Buran should be the truck to deliver heavy things into orbit and put them togehter while the light shuttle was the taxi to fly from one space installation to the other or back to earth.
That is the Spiral... the western belief in the 80s was that it was an interceptor/bomber... either firing small missiles at enemy satellites or releasing bombs from orbit to rapidly hit US targets.
The design of Buran meant if you wanted to assemble a space station you could take teh whole Buran off the Energyia rocket and fit a complete 120 ton component of the station in a fairing that protected it during launch. Once in space it could open out the dishes and sensors and solar panels it might have.
The current ISS is about 350 tons or something so pretty much 4 flights could have gotten it into space with there just needing to be manouvering and connecting the pieces together to form the station and to start it up and align the solar panel arrays.