Police Seek Tupolev Manager Who Cost Russia's Aviation Industry Millions

The Soviet Union was a major producer of passenger aircraft, but years of underinvestment after the fall of communism left the industry unable to compete with international manufacturers.

A top manager at a Russian aviation firm was placed on a federal wanted list after causing 233 million rubles ($4.3 million) in damages to the aviation industry, a Moscow police statement said Wednesday.

The manager exceeded his authority in 2005 by signing a series of long-term leases above market prices, the statement said.

An unidentified law enforcement source told the Interfax news agency the manager was Sergei Ilyushenkov, a former executive director of Russia's famous Tupolev aircraft design bureau.

The source said Ilyushenkov was charged in absentia: "He absconded and was added to the federal wanted list."

The move comes on the same day that the government approved a massive 100 billion ruble ($1.85 billion) recapitalization of Tupolev's parent company, United Aircraft Corporation. Moscow has made the health of the civil aviation industry a national priority after Western sanctions over Ukraine highlighted Russia's dependence on foreign-made aircraft.

The Soviet Union was a major producer of passenger aircraft, but years of underinvestment after the fall of communism left the industry unable to compete with international manufacturers.

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