Support The Moscow Times!

Cosmonaut Wins Wages Case vs Space Agency

A Moscow regional court on Friday upheld a lawsuit filed by a prominent cosmonaut against the Russian space training center complaining about wages.

Colonel Sergei Volkov, who has logged 199 days in space, was contesting a recent government decision to strip retired military men, like himself, of extra pay for their space experience.

The court in the Moscow region, where the Russian cosmonauts' training ground is located, upheld Volkov's lawsuit, ordering the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center to pay cosmonauts with military backgrounds for the spaceflights that they have completed. It also awarded him 1.4 million rubles ($43,500) in back wages.

Extra pay for space experience for veteran cosmonauts like Volkov could be equal to their monthly salary.

The 40-year-old Volkov, who started out as a military pilot and went on long-term missions at the International Space Station in 2008 and 2011, serves as the head of the cosmonauts at the training center that he sued.

Cosmonaut Sergei Zaletin told the RIA Novosti news agency that Volkov was "representing all military cosmonauts."

Instances of Russian officials suing their agencies are extremely rare.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.