A 72-year-old Russian man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for high treason after a court determined that he shared secrets with Ukrainian intelligence.
Vladimir Morgunov’s little-known case did not appear in Moscow’s court database until his pre-trial detention was extended in December 2018. The Federal Security Service (FSB) alleged that Morgunov shared information with a Ukrainian intelligence officer on neighboring Ukrainian territory, where pro-Russian rebels are at war with government troops.
A Rostov regional court sentenced Morgunov to 12 years in a maximum-security prison Wednesday after finding him guilty of high treason. Morgunov can appeal the sentence.
The FSB told local media that — in addition to details about military equipment deployment — Ukrainian intelligence “was interested in the economic, social and political life of” the Russian district on its border where Morgunov lives.
Prosecutors had sought an eight-year sentence for Morgunov despite the charges carrying a minimum sentence of 12 years. Morgunov reportedly pleaded guilty to the charges.
More than 13,000 people have been killed since the conflict between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government forces erupted in the eastern Ukrainian region known as the Donbass in 2014.