Roskosmos (Russia’s state space agency) has confirmed the arrest of Viktor Kudryavtsev, a scientist from the Central Research Institute for Machine Building (TsNIIMash), Russian media reported on Sunday, July 22.
“He is currently being investigated,” Roskosmos spokesman Vladimir Ustimenko told Russian news agency TASS. He did not provide any further details.
News came out earlier that 74 year-old Viktor Kudryavtsev, a scientist from TsNIIMash, had been sent to the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center in Moscow.
On July 20, FSB staff searched the research institute in connection with information on a Russian hypersonic weapon leaking abroad.
Kudryavtsev was among the people who signed an open letter to Vladimir Putin in support of their coworker at TsNIIMash, Vladimir Lapygin, who had been accused of high treason, Mediazone reports. Lapygin holds Russian state awards, a Candidate of Sciences, and was the deputy head of one of the TsNIIMash centers.
After searches in Koroleva and in the Moscow offices of the United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC), it came out that Dmitry Payson, one of the heads of the corporation, had resigned. There are several suspects in the case, of which Kudryavtsev is the first whose name has been disclosed.
An informed source told Interfax that Payson is a witness in the high treason case.