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Russia Jails Hypersonic Missile Scientist 14 Years for Treason

Anatoly Maslov. ITAM Institute

A Russian court on Tuesday sentenced a 77-year-old scientist to 14 years in prison on treason charges after he was accused of sharing top secret information related to Russia's hypersonic missile program with Germany.

The St. Petersburg City Court found Anatoly Maslov guilty of state treason and ordered him to serve 14 years in a maximum-security prison, according to the court’s press service. Maslov denied his guilt.

Prosecutors had requested a 17-year prison sentence for the scientist, whose defense attorneys argued that such a lengthy term would amount to a life sentence due to his age and health issues. Maslov suffered a heart attack while in pre-trial detention in February.

Maslov’s attorney Olga Dinze said the defense plans to appeal Tuesday’s ruling.

Maslov, who was arrested in June 2022, specialized in hypersonics  a theoretical field with important applications for Russia's advanced missile program.

He was the chief researcher at the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, which is part of the Siberian branch of Russia's Academy of Sciences.

At least three other scientists from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk  including the head of the center where Maslov worked  have been arrested on different treason accusations since 2022.

An open letter signed by members of Russia’s Academy of Sciences last year accused the authorities of arresting Maslov and two other hypersonic missile scientists for speaking at conferences abroad and participating in international projects.

AFP contributed reporting.

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