Alexander Neradko, the head of the Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia (Rosaviatsiya), has allegedly been hospitalized and placed in intensive care after sustaining multiple injuries when falling off a bike, according to undisclosed sources who posted about the incident on Telegram.
However, the incident has since been officially denied by the regulator, Russian state-owned news media RIA Novosti reported.
Neradko was named during a recent high-level corruption case, which resulted in the dismissal of one of his subordinates, the head of State Air Traffic Management Corporation Igor Moiseenko.
Neradko has reportedly undergone necessary surgery and his health is currently being described as stable, the sources wrote on July 13, 2022.
Due to multiple injuries sustained during the incident, which included bruises, fractures of ribs and pelvis in addition to multiple facial hematomas, Neradko was unable to describe how the fall happened, the sources added.
However, in a statement made to RIA Novosti, the Federal Air Transport Agency denied that Neradko had been hospitalized and said that he had taken temporary sick leave for rehabilitation purposes. Rosaviatsiya also said that Neradko would continue to monitor the Russian government agency and remains in constant communication.
“The head of the Federal Air Transport Agency is on sick leave. He is undergoing a course of rehabilitation. The facts in the media about the operation do not correspond to reality,” the short statement reads.
An alleged high-level corruption case
On March 28, 2022, the Russian government initiated an investigation into an alleged high-level corruption case at Rosaviatsiya after receiving multiple reports submitted by undisclosed agency staff who claimed that some employees had been receiving salaries from Rosaviatsiya while not performing duties at the agency.
As Aerotime reported in March 2022, the reports largely involved Igor Moiseenko, the head of State Air Traffic Management Corporation (SATMC), Rosaviatsiya’s arm responsible for navigation services.
Investigators suspected that Moiseenko provided high-paying jobs to his relatives who continued to receive salaries while not performing duties at the agency. In addition, key positions at SATMC were occupied by people connected to leading Russian technology corporations, allowing Moiseenko to siphon money through the purchase of new equipment for the agency.
An anonymous complaint detailing Moiseenko’s schemes was delivered to Neradko, the chief of Rosaviatsiya. Screenshots of the complaint received widespread coverage across Russian social media.
According to Russian media, Russia’s Deputy General Prosecutor Anatoly Razinkin asked Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Grigorenko to investigate Moiseenko’s actions. The director of the Cadre department of the Russian Government Alexander Vishnyakov was tasked with leading the investigation.
The amount of money Moiseenko allegedly siphoned from the agency via fraudulent purchases alone was estimated at 800 million Russian rubles ($9 million as of March 2022), while the total damages are estimated to be in the “billions”.
According to the Russian aviation news website Aviation21, which referred to insider information, the situation was reported to Vladimir Putin, and the possibility of replacing Neradko was discussed. The sources also claim that Moiseenko’s schemes were conducted under Neradko’s direct guidance.
Aviation21 also noted that, as of March 28, 2022, all information regarding the management and structure of Rosaviatsiya has been scrubbed from the agency’s website.
There has been no official notice or statement regarding the alleged charges, the investigation, or the management changes at Rosaviatsiya.