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4 Russian Sailors Behind Bars for Treason

Four Russian Navy servicemen have been convicted of high treason.

Four Russian Navy servicemen have been convicted of high treason and have already begun serving out their sentences, Interfax news agency reported Thursday.

The news comes after reports of several other treason cases having been launched in recent months, including a high-profile case against Svetlana Davydova, a mother of seven from Smolensk.

"Senior naval officers Zakhary Agapishvili, Sergei Danilchenko and two other servicemen — Levan Charkviani and Konstantin Yashin — have been sentenced to prison time," a spokesperson for the Supreme Court said in comments carried by Interfax on Thursday. "The convicted individuals are already serving out their sentences."

The men, found guilty of having passed on secret information to foreign countries, have been in prison since last fall, the source was cited as saying.

In addition to their prison sentences, the men have also been stripped of their military honors.

As is typical in these cases, it was unclear what information the men were convicted of having divulged, which country or organization they are believed of having given it to, and how long their prison terms will last, as the press service declined to reveal further details due to the highly confidential nature of their cases.

Under Russia's Criminal Code, a treason conviction carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

News of the sailors' convictions brings the total count of treason cases reported in recent weeks up to eight. Beyond the four sailors and Davydova, other suspects include: Pyotr Parpulov, a former employee of Sochi International Airport; Yevgeny Petrin, an employee of the Russian Orthodox Church and Gennady Kravtsov, whose background details have not been disclosed.

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