S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia has announced, in a statement dated 26-27 June, that Vitalii Alexandrovich Lopota has been appointed first vice president and designer general of the company that makes the manned Soyuz and unmanned Progress spacecraft. This follows the 25 June statement, posted on the company's website, about the suspension of its then high profile president and general designer Nikolai Sevastiyanov.
Sevastiyanov is thought to have clashed with the head of Russia's Federal Space Agency (FSA) Anatoly Perminov over the direction of the country's space activities. Russia's 10-year national space programme, stretching out to 2016, is focused on delivering improved telecommunications, navigation and other services for its citizens while Sevastiyanov focused on manned spaceflight and space tourism.
In a move that has split the role Sevastiyanov had Lopota has been appointed general designer by acting Energia president Alexander Strekalov.
He was the company's first vice-president and general director of the Experimental Machine-building Plant before he was appointed acting president around about the 22 June - its not clear from Energia's 25 June statement if he was appointed then or if his appointment was being announced well after the fact although a 22 June report on Russian news and information agency RIA Novosti's website indicated that he had been appointed that day or very recently during that week.
Neither is it clear whether by calling Strekalov acting president he is the final choice.
The same 22 June RIA Novosti report speculated that former FSA chief Yuri Koptev may eventually take the president job, assuming it does not go to Lopota.
More background about Lopota can be found here in an op-ed on RIA Novosti's website, even if they do spell his name differently to FSA.
The big news about the leadership turmoil was to be found here back in June following an entry on the airspace.aero forum.
The 26-27 June announcement also states that Nikolai Ivanovich Zelenshchikov is appointed first vice president and first deputy designer general of Energia.
A 31 July Energia board meeting is expected to confirm Sevastiyanov's suspension and the new appointments.