On October 24th, Roman Bobkov, director of the Vostochny space center, was detained on suspicion of incitement to abuse of office and official forgery, Kommersant reported, citing a source in the Russian Investigative Committee.
According to the newspaper, he was summoned to the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee for the Amur Region to testify in the criminal case of the chief inspector of the 119th department of the State Security Service of the Ministry of Defense Dmitry Fomintsev.
The latter is accused of abuse of office and official forgery. After interrogation, Bobkov was informed that a case had also been opened against him.
The investigation believes that Bobkov instigated Fomintsev to misconduct during the commissioning of water intake facilities, which were intended to supply water to the Vostochny cosmodrome and the closed administrative-territorial entity (ZATO) Tsiolkovsky.
The Vostochny Space Center is a branch of the Center for Operation of Ground-Based Space Infrastructure Objects (TsENKI).
As follows from the materials on the TsENKI website, the list of the main tasks of the space center includes the operation of facilities and technological equipment of the Vostochny cosmodrome, preparation of technical, launch complexes and infrastructure facilities for launching carrier rockets, supply, storage and preparation of rocket fuel components, provision of communication preparation and implementation of spacecraft launches.
Also, Vostochny specialists organize work on the preparation of the fall areas of the separating parts of carrier rockets for launches of space rockets, provide post-launch repair and restoration work, and bring ground space infrastructure objects to their original state.
In addition, the space center acts as the general contractor for the construction of the cosmodrome facilities.
Roman Bobkov was born in Poland. From 2012 to 2016, he held the position of director of the Baikonur branch of the FSUE Okhrana Scientific and Technical Center and was responsible for the safety of Baikonur facilities. After that, until 2018, he was deputy director of the Roscosmos branch in Baikonur.
Bobkov has been the head of the Vostochny space center since 2019.
The Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for the Amur Region refused to comment on the information. RBC made a request to Roscosmos and the Center for Operation of Ground-Based Space Infrastructure Facilities.
Roskosmos commented on the arrest:
“The detention of Roman Bobkov, director of the branch of TsENKI JSC, the Vostochny space center, will not in any way affect the construction schedule of the cosmodrome. Construction is proceeding according to schedule,” TASS cited the state company.
Also on October 24th, the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin fired Evgeny Rogozin, General Director of the Vostochny Cosmodrome Directorate, and reprimanded Andrei Okhlopkov, General Director of the Center for Operation of Ground Space Infrastructure Facilities (TSENKI), and Vladimir Zhuk, TsENKI Chief Engineer.
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