There were more ructions in the Russian space industry when another of its heads was fired. At the meeting of the Board of Directors of RSC the Director General of the firm Vladimir Solntsev resigned as director general of the firm. The reason for his departure has not been disclosed. Sergey Yurievich Romanov has been made Acting General Director of RSC Energia. Update on 23 August 2018: Michael Ignatkin, deputy director general of the RSC Energia firm has now been dismissed for unspecified reasons. This was after some other employees at the firm were arrested on bribery charges.
The news comes at a bad time for Russia’s space industry. Not only is it underfunded and lacks modern launch equipment, it is currently suffering from a spying scandal. During July, Dmitry Paison, director of the rocket and missile manufacturer TsNIIMash (the Central Research Institute of Machine Building), based at Korolyev near Moscow, has been fired over allegations of espionage within his company.
One of his employees, Victor Kudryavtsev, 74, had been accused of releasing details of Russia’s hypersonic cruise missile programme to the West. While high-arcing ballistic missiles are faster, hypersonic cruise missiles are gaining military favour as their lower altitude means they provide less radar warning time.
In May, Igor Komarov was fired as head of the Russian space agency/industrial conglomerate Roscosmos. He was replaced by long time supporter of President Putin, Dmitry Rogozin.