Support The Moscow Times!

Russian ‘Wedding Photobomb’ Couple Jailed for Treason – Reports

Baltic affairs expert Antonine Zimina. facebook.com / ziminaak

A Russian couple has been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for blowing a secret agent’s cover in their wedding photos, the state-run TASS news agency reported Thursday.

Baltic affairs expert Antonina Zimina and her husband Konstantin Antonets were charged with treason after Zimina’s old classmate, a Federal Security Service (FSB) counterintelligence officer, appeared in their wedding photos. The photographs with the FSB agent’s true identity were said to have circulated on social media and on Baltic television.

The Kaliningrad District Court found the couple guilty of high treason and sentenced Zimina to 13 years in a penal colony and Antonets to 12 years in maximum-security prison in a closed trial, TASS quoted Zimina’s father as saying.

Prosecutors had asked for 14 years in a penal colony for Zimina and 13 years in a maximum-security facility for Antonets. The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

State prosecutors accused Zimina of disclosing the FSB agent’s identity to Latvian intelligence services in 2015 online, TASS reported. Previous reports citing unnamed sources said Antonets had obtained classified information on Russian intelligence agencies' activities as a lawyer in the Kaliningrad region’s economy ministry.

Zimina’s father told TASS that the couple has maintained innocence since the start of the trial and plans to appeal the court ruling before it comes into effect.

A wide range of Russians, including scientists and journalists, have in recent years been accused of high treason or disclosing state secrets. 

The number of Russia’s criminal cases surrounding treason, espionage and state secrets has grown fivefold in the past decade and peaked after the annexation of Crimea and the start of the eastern Ukraine conflict in 2014, according to a tally by the independent Mediazona news site.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more