(OOC) I fully agree. It's just that there hasn't been anything to suggest that Buran's development hasn't been stopped or altered in any way, unless I have missed something. Otherwise a much smaller spaceplane which would mainly serve to ferry cosmonauts to Mir and Mir 2 would be in our best interest, along with a second one maybe primarily for cargo.I still am not sure about Buran being the best way. I have a feeling it is more: "The Americans have a big shuttle, so we should have one too". IMO Buran is too big. American space shuttles were designed so they would be able to catch a defective satelite in orbit and bring it safely down for repairs. Do we plan similar actions?
I believe that a significantly smaller shuttle/space plane for 4 people aboard (or 2+ cargo, eventually 6 persons in an emergency) would be better. After all you do not need a shuttle to bring a module to a space station. Mir was made quite well without a shuttle .You can send modules to the orbit on their own and a single shuttle/space plane (or regular Soyuz spacecraft) with crew to put it all together. Then a space plane can serve as a relatively cheap way to resupply the station, exchange the crew etc., just like Soyuz/Progress served Mir and ISS.
So one shuttle with a 4 +2 (6 max) capacity and another with a 2 + cargo capacity - or even 0 with full automation would be ideal.