Kremlin admits: Billions stolen in construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome
More than 10% of the funds allocated to the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome were stolen, said Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Monday, November 11. “A total of 11 billion rubles (around $172 million) was stolen, 3.5 billion rubles ($55 million) has been recovered,” Peskov said, noting that, overall, the equivalent of $1.4 billion was allocated to the construction of the spaceport.
Putin’s press secretary noted that, at first, 128 court cases were initiated, although these were later combined into 32 cases. The theft has been investigated by Russia’s Investigative Committee and Interior Ministry, and 32 people have already been convicted. “The Investigative Committee is still working on five criminal cases,” Peskov noted.
Previously Russia’s Public Prosecution Service said that a total of 17,000 violations have been documented in the construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome since 2014. More than 140 criminal cases have been initiated as a result. According to the department’s spokesperson, Alexander Kurenny, the infringements include delays in the construction schedule and the theft of billions of rubles of budget funds. “And an egregious story, when not even construction standards and regulations were adhered to, was the problems with the launch shaft, when the concrete didn’t meet the quality requirements, which could have caused a catastrophe,” he pointed out.
Dmitry Savin, former head of the company DalSpetsStroy, which built the Vostochny Cosmodrome, was found shot dead in Moscow in January, reportedly by a suicide.
Construction of the spaceport began in 2012. It remains incomplete to this day.