MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. A commission set up by Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos will start work this week to probe the activity of the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building (TsNIImash), Roscosmos Spokesman Vladimir Ustimenko told TASS on Monday.
The commission, which is led by Roscosmos Deputy CEO Sergei Dyomin, has been set up after some staffers of Roscosmos’s central research institute were accused of leaking state secrets to Western intelligence services.
"An instruction has been issued to form a commission to scrutinize the TsNIImash’s activity. An inspection will be carried out. After that, the corresponding conclusions will be made. The commission will start its work shortly this week," the spokesman said, without specifying the timeframe of the commission’s work.
Member of the Moscow Public Monitoring Commission Yevgeny Yenikeyev earlier told TASS that a Moscow court had authorized the arrest of TsNIImash’s 74-year-old staffer Viktor Kudryavtsev accused of high treason. He didn’t specify, however, which court had sanctioned the staffer’s arrest. Ustimenko confirmed to TASS that the scientist had been taken into custody but offered no details. TsNIImash declined to comment on the information on the arrest.
Searches in the scientific center’s offices
The Russian business daily Kommersant earlier reported that an investigative team from the Federal Security Service (FSB) had searched the officers of TsNIImash staffers, as well as the office of Director of the Roscosmos Research and Analytical Center Dmitry Paison. According to the paper, investigative measures were being carried out as part of criminal proceedings instituted on charges of high treason under Russia’s Criminal Code, and about 10 employees working in the space industry were under investigation for collaborating with Western intelligence services.
The FSB determined that Western intelligence agencies had found out about the results of the Russian space industry’s ‘top secret’ work on hypersonic technologies, the paper reported.
The Roscosmos press office reported that company CEO Dmitry Rogozin had been informed on this matter and had given instructions to offer full assistance to the investigative team. A source in the domestic space industry told TASS that the searches were being carried out and that documents had been confiscated in the TsNIImash Endurance Center, according to preliminary information.
As Ustimenko told TASS on Saturday, Paison had submitted his resignation and is now on vacation until early August, after which he will leave his post. Ustimenko specified that Paison was a witness in the high treason case.