Support The Moscow Times!

Over $150M Embezzled in Construction of Russia’s Far East Spaceport — Prosecutors

Marina Lystseva / Roscosmos

Russian prosecutors have said that over $150 million was embezzled during construction of the country’s new $5-billion spaceport in the Far East.

Russia sees the Vostochny Cosmodrome project, plagued by scandals and prosecutions of some of its contractors for fraud, as vital to secure the country's independent access to space. Currently, space launches take place from the Soviet-era cosmodrome of Baikonur in Kazakhstan, which itself has been blighted by failed launches.

“Prosecutors have uncovered more than 17,000 violations of law since construction [of Vostochny] began in 2014,” Alexander Kurennoy, a spokesman for the Prosecutor General’s Office, said in a televised interview Tuesday.

The violations amount to 10 billion rubles ($152 million) in losses, Kurennoy said, up from 7.5 billion rubles the prosecutor general estimated in 2015.

More than 140 criminal cases have been brought against an estimated 1,000 officials and contractors who have been brought to justice since 2014, Kurennoy said.

He noted that prosecutors have already recouped 23.4 million rubles.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more