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Russian Urban Exploration Blogger Gets Prison Sentence for Sharing State Secrets

Andrei Pyzh. memohrc.org

A St. Petersburg blogger known for exploring abandoned urban and industrial sites has been sentenced to prison for spreading state secrets abroad.

Investigators say Andrei Pyzh, 37, illegally obtained information relating to the design and technical features of classified facilities in the Moscow region from December 2018 until the time of his August 2020 detention. 

The Moscow City Court found Pyzh guilty of illegally obtaining and disseminating state secrets and sentenced him to five years in prison, it said in a statement Friday.

Pyzh pleaded not guilty to the charges, which are punishable by a maximum of eight years in jail.

At the time of his detention, the state-run TASS news agency reported that Pyzh was suspected of sending information about the Moscow Metro and Metro-2, the Russian capital’s alleged secret underground transport network, to Ukraine. 

The authorities have neither confirmed nor denied the existence of Metro-2. 

Pyzh, a Russian-Ukrainian citizen, had uploaded hundreds of videos in which he explored abandoned industrial sites, cities, subways and bunkers to his roughly 800,000 YouTube subscribers before he was detained.

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