Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose net worth is reportedly to be as high as $200 billion, is shocked — repeat, shocked — by the scale of the embezzlement during construction of the $1.4 billion Vostochny spaceport. Tassreports
A total of 11 billion rubles (about $169 million) were stolen during the construction of the Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East and only 3.5 billion rubles ($53.8 million) were returned to the state coffers, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday….
According to Peskov, “at the first stage, 128 criminal cases were opened, which were later consolidated into 32 criminal cases and at the next stage the Investigative Committee singled out 21 cases and transferred them to the court of law and 18 persons were sentenced at the time,” Peskov said…
The Russian leader spoke about the need to ensure strict, purposeful and transparent spending of budget funds in the defense sphere and noted that he had numerously made similar demands in other areas, including the construction of Russia’s first civilian spaceport in the Far East.
“It has been stated a hundred times: you must work transparently because large funds are allocated. This project is actually of the national scope! But, despite this, hundreds of millions, hundreds of millions [of rubles] are stolen! Several dozen criminal cases have already been opened, the courts have already passed verdicts and some are serving their prison terms. However, things have not been put in order there the way it should have been done,” the Russian president said.
Putin can’t really be that shocked by this situation. For 20 years, he has presided over a country where corruption runs rampant. Putin has diverted billions from the state for the benefit of himself and his allies.
One wonders whether Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin’s job is on the line. The former deputy prime minister took over as head of the Russian space corporation in May 2018.
While serving as deputy prime minister, Rogozin had overseen Russia’s space and military agencies. During that period, corruption on the Vostochny spaceport was rampant and the nation suffered a long string of launch failures.
TSIOLKOVSKY, Russia (Roscomos PR) — The second phase of construction is at full speed at the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The Kazan industrial and construction association are carrying out the foundation armament of structures placed at the Angara carrier rockets family launching complex.
TSIOLKOVSKY, Russia (Roscomos PR) — The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin visited Amur Oblast and held a meeting to discuss the matters of the Vostochny Cosmodrome infrastructure development, as well as on perspective rocket complexes.
Right before the meeting, the President visited the Cosmodrome itself to inspect the objects and get acquainted with the status of the Angara space rocket launch complex construction.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin continued his working visit to the Amur Region on August 28. He arrived in his Lada Kalina car at the site of a geological survey for the construction of the Vostochny Russian National Cosmodrome, where Mr Putin familiarised himself with the blueprints and layout of the future spaceport.
The Roscosmos website has a fascinating transcript of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to Uglegorsk, which is adjacent to the nation’s future Vostochny National Space Port. Putin gave formal remarks, engaged in a discussion with Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov, and spoke with villagers. The transcript, reproduced at this end of this post, brings to light a great deal of information about the new Russian facility.
All decisions made to start work on Vostochny space site 2011 ITAR-TASS
All necessary decisions are in place for launching the construction of the spaceport Vostochny in the Amur region in 2011, the head of the federal space agency (Roscosmos), Anatoly Perminov, said at a meeting of the Scientific and Technical Council devoted to the sketch of a future high-capacity next-generation space rocket complex of middle-class for the spaceport Vostochny.
Russian Defense Cuts Could Affect Space Aviation Week President Vladimir Putin has assured government and industry space officials that the revised 2009 draft budget, intended to take into account the worsening economic downturn, contemplates no reduction in allotments for the development of new space projects. Almost 82 billion rubles ($2.4 billion) is to be allocated for three programs, Putin said, without saying which ones. However, he said the new Angara launcher would be among the priority programs, along with communication, navigation and remote Earth sensing spacecraft development.
Russian space officials have outlined an ambitious plan to increase its space autonomy by building a new spaceport in the Far East and accelerating development of a new family of rockets.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for speeding up the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the country’s Amur region near China, the Associated Press reports. The new facility would be ready for rocket launches by 2015; it would handle all human spaceflights by 2020.
“We must ensure Russia’s guaranteed access to space, that is a capability to make all kind of space launches â€” satellites, manned spacecraft and interplanetary probes â€” from our own territory,” Putin said.
Russia currently launches Soyuz crew vehicles and other rockets from the Soviet-era Baikonur Cosmodrome, which it leases from Kazakhstan. Russia is still planning to use Baikonur until at least 2050, the Russian news agency Novosti reported.
Putin called for the accelerated development of the new Angara launcher, a family of modular rockets capable of launching medium to heavy payloads. Angara will fly out of Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome. A heavy lift version will be launched at Baikonur from a new launch pad being jointly developed by Russia and Kazakhstan, Novosti reported.
The first Angara launch is scheduled to occur in 2010 or 2011. Wikipedia has more about the rocket.