Support The Moscow Times!

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.

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.