After dramatic newswire reports that General Vladimir Popovkin, head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, had been hospitalised due to "physical and emotional exhaustion" the exact cause remains a mystery. The Russian newspapers originally noted that the Popovkin fell on the stairs of the space agency hitting his head on the marble railing. However, according to the Daily Express newspaper who quote from other Moscow media sources, Popovkin was injured with a head wound after an alleged "fight over a woman" at an office party. A man, who has not been identified, was alleged to have struck General Popovkin with a glass bottle. According to the reports the space official Aleksander Paramonov was also hospitalised from the party.
The woman in question was apparently General Popovkin's press secretary, Anna Vedischeva, 28. Vedischeva was appointed despite criticism when it was revealed that she was an ex-glamour model who, by her own admission, knew nothing about space or public relations. The party where the incident allegedly took place was to celebrate International Woman's Day on 8 March.
Popovkin was brought in to attend to the problems in quality control in the Russian space programme that have led to several embarrassing launch and in-orbit failures. As it was, having arrived in post in April last year, Popovkin had to deal with the high profile failure of the Phobos-Grunt mission and a Soyuz launch failure carrying a Progress cargo craft to the International Space Station.