Is the energy plunderer expected in Roskosmos?
Vladimir Solntsev, the former CEO of RSC Energia, was transferred from the pre-trial detention center to house arrest in exchange for cooperation with the investigation. His testimony may lead to the initiation of new criminal cases, revealing a large-scale picture of embezzlement and corruption in the defense complex at the junction with the space industry, as well as a system for protecting convicted corrupt officials from prosecutorial prosecution with the help of administrative resources. Details are in the Rucriminal.info investigation.
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Solntsev was arrested in August 2020 after Rogozin, the then head of Roscosmos, initiated an audit of the contract for the supply of electronics for the ISS module, concluded by RSC with the Central Research Institute Cyclone (Rostec), whose profile, according to information on the website, is related to the provision of simple electronics needs of law enforcement agencies. Cyclone receives considerable profit from renting out its premises, as well as service and repair work. Simultaneously with Solntsev, Alexander Borisov, the head of NPP Istok, also part of the Rostec system, was arrested. Characteristically, Solntsev, who was dismissed from RKK as a result of the audit, was immediately employed at the UAC, controlled by Rostec. where he was listed until the initiation of a criminal case.
The audit showed signs of embezzlement and fraud for hundreds of millions of rubles (about one and a half billion according to official reports), after which the case was transferred to the investigating authorities.
According to the contract, Cyclone was actually an intermediary, purchasing and supplying Chinese electronics for the ISS EKB in the amount of almost one and a half billion rubles. His victory in the tender was guaranteed, despite the lower prices of competitors, due, it is believed, to the informal recommendations of Yuri Borisov (now head of Roscosmos), then the curator of the electronics industry in his position as first deputy chairman of the Military Industrial Commission. Borisov was a long-time business partner of his namesake, mentioned Alexander Borisov, on joint "projects" of Istok with the Modul Corporation, established by the current head of Roscosmos back in the early 90s.
According to Rucriminal.info, the theft scheme was simple — in the contract they overstated prices for low-quality Chinese products, the difference was distributed to the accounts of interested parties. A forensic examination in the framework of a criminal case on the fact of overestimation of the cost of products established “property damage in the amount of 839,717 thousand rubles”, and according to the investigation, the defendants in the case inflated prices three times, which caused damage to the budget in the amount of 1 billion 72 million rubles.
However, amazing metamorphoses begin further. Alexander Borisov was placed under house arrest in February 2021 and he is being gently withdrawn from the criminal case (witness status) after Deputy Prime Minister Borisov was seen more than once in the office of Prosecutor General Krasnov: despite all the procedural deadlines, the Prosecutor General’s Office does not send a criminal case to the court, ignoring the position of the FSB and the Investigative Committee. Such uncharacteristic persistence of the "eye of the sovereign" by precedent can only be explained by the intervention of interested persons from the defense industry and Rostec with very high-profile names. Moreover, according to information from Roskosmos, documents are ready there for hiring the aforementioned Alexander Borisov, who should head the electronics development block.
At the same time, at the request of the state corporation, the former deputy general director of TsENKI Roskosmos (operation of spaceports), who was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison for bribes, was released in June 2022. His return, according to the precedent, is also expected in the space department.
To be continued