Putin orders shake-up at Russia’s space agency Roscosmos | News
Putin replaced Dmitry Rogozin with Yuri Borisov, a former Deputy Defense Minister, as head of Russia’s space agency.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the dispatch of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, appointing Yuri Borisov, a former deputy prime minister and deputy defense minister, to replace Dmitry Rogozin as head of the agency.
The change was announced on Friday not long before Roscosmos said it had signed a landmark agreement with NASA regarding integrated flights and crews aboard the International Space Station (ISS). ) – a rare example of cooperation between Russia and the United States at a time of serious tension. war in Ukraine.
Borisov, 65, a man at the helm, with a military background, has been involved in the Russian defense industry since the late 1990s. As deputy prime minister, he oversaw military affairs and space includes the production of weapons and equipment.
The Kremlin did not comment on the reasons for the change at the agency.
Rogozin has taken a confrontational stance since Roscosmos was hit by sanctions after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops to invade Ukraine in February.
He has threatened to withdraw from the ISS, said cooperation with the West is “impossible”, and bluntly bragged about Russia’s nuclear weapons capabilities.
Rogozin touted the possibility that Russia’s new Sarmat missile could carry out a nuclear strike on the United States and said it would be operational by the end of 2022, following successful tests earlier this year.
He’s also shown an interest in trolling the West, including tweeting with tech billionaire Elon Musk, speaking publicly about Russian nuclear missiles, and publishing coordinates and satellite images. of Western defensive sites with the implication that they could be targets in a future conflict .
There was no official comment on Rogozin’s next appointment, but Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency quoted Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying he would receive a new position “in due time.” .
Putin appointed Rogozin to manage the struggling space agency in 2018.
At the time, some experts described him as a pagan, lacking the education and expertise needed to lead Roscosmos. Rogozin also oversaw the space industry as deputy prime minister from 2011 to 2018.
An independent media outlet said he would be promoted and could be put in charge of occupied territories in Ukraine.
Russia sent the first man into space in 1961 and launched its first artificial satellite 4 years earlier, important achievements of the Soviet space program and still a major source of national pride in Russia .
However, experts say the agency remains a shadow of itself and has in recent years suffered a string of setbacks including corruption scandals and the loss of several satellites and spacecraft. other.