The head of the Russian space agency, Roscosomos, Vladimir Popovkin who was hospitalized in early March, denied on Thursday media rumors suggesting he was beaten in a drunk brawl.
Roscosmos said on March 7 that Popovkin was hospitalized because of strong “physical and emotional exhaustion,” caused by his hectic schedule.
However a Russian tabloid Life News posted Popovkin’s photo with his head bandaged and reported, attributing an unnamed source, that the official was admitted to the hospital after he was beaten with a bottle in a drunk brawl in a Moscow restaurant.
«If there was a brawl…I would sign a resignation letter the next day…I respect myself very much, and frankly speaking, I still can’t handle all that filth that was undeservedly said about me,” Popovkin told reporters.
Popovkin said that he was injured when he fainted after a hard day at work.
“While leaving the office, I lost consciousness and fell…There was no any brawl, any bottle, I hadn’t visited any restaurants,” the space official said.
The official accused “space industry contractors” of disseminating false rumors about him because they were dissatisfied with his attempt to reform the industry.
Popovkin however refused to specify who could be behind the smear campaign.