Ex-head of Ukraine’s aircraft engine plant charged with obstructing Armed Forces
Photo via Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine

The former president of a strategically important aircraft engine manufacturer in the city of Zaporizhzhia has been served a third notice of suspicion, the office of the prosecutor general and the security service of Ukraine, the SBU, announced on Tuesday.

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Vyacheslav Boguslaev, the ex-president of the Motor Sich plant who was arrested on collaboration charges in October 2022, is now also charged with obstructing the activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

According to the SBU, Mr Boguslaev ordered that blades be removed and the rotor be disabled of a Mi-2 helicopter that Ukraine’s defence intelligence had commissioned.

"The head of the industrial giant deliberately blocked the fulfillment of the state order. To do this, he instructed his subordinates to disassemble the aircraft into parts and hide its operational documentation," the statement read.

Law enforcement claims that under Mr Boguslaev, Motor Sich sold aircraft engines for Russian military helicopters, even following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which constitutes the crime of treason.

Earlier this year, he was also charged with abetting terrorist activities in connection with the operation of a Motor Sich branch office in an occupied town in eastern Ukraine.

Motor Sich is one of Europe's largest manufacturers of aircraft and helicopter components based in Zaporizhzhia. It owns an engine-building plant and three machine-building plants, as well as an airline company.

Until recently, Motor Sich’s main owner was Vyacheslav Boguslaev, a former member of parliament. In 2016 sold a 56% stake in the company to Beijing Skyrizon Aviation Industry Investment Co Ltd, a Chinese holding, but the deal was soon blocked for reasons of national security.

In October 2022, Mr Boguslaev was arrested on treason charges, and the shares of Motor Sich were seized and transferred to the Assets Tracing and Management Agency.