Another Russian Missile Scientist Arrested For Treason, Warnings Of Sector's "Collapse"
A fourth physicist from the Novosibirsk Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences has been detained on treason charges. The scientists' research is linked to the development of hypersonic missiles, and an open letter now warns that Moscow's arrests of its top researchers will cause Russia to fall behind in the development of such weapons.
MOSCOW — A group of prominent Russian scientists have published an open letter to save Russian aerodynamic science "from the impending collapse." The appeal came after three of their scientists had been arrested on suspicion of treason, the latest being Valery Zvegintsev, a chief researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences. His detention only became known this week.
The researchers from the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Russian Academy of Sciences stated that: "Over the past year, three outstanding aerodynamic scientists of our institute — Anatoly Maslov, Alexander Shiplyuk, and Valery Zvegintsev — were arrested on suspicion of committing a crime under the most severe article of the Criminal Code: treason," reads the letter. "We know each of them as a patriotand a decent man, incapable of committing what the investigating authorities suspect them of doing."
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The authors emphasize that, according to open sources, the reason for the cases were presentations at international seminars and conferences, the publication of articles in high-ranking journals, and participation in international scientific projects. In addition, all the scientists' material has been checked for the presence of restricted information, and no such information was found. Nevertheless, the investigating authorities relied on another expert's opinion and did not disclose their names.
At the Russian Academy of Sciences headquarters in Moscow
Benefit of the Motherland
"The most frightening thing about this situation is the impact on the scientific youth," says the appeal. "Already the best students are refusing to work for us, and our best young employees are leaving science. Scientific organizations and their employees need a clear, law based understanding of where the boundary between working for the benefit of the Motherland and treason lies."
The motive for the treason allegation is an article about gas dynamics in an Iranian magazine.
A source from the media agency TASS reported that Valery Zvegintsev was detained about three weeks ago and is now under house arrest. The motive for the treason allegationegation appears to be the publication of an article about gas dynamics in an Iranian magazine. The agency's interlocutor specified that the material underwent two expert examinations for possible secrecy before publication. The investigating authorities have not commented on the alleged arrest of the scientist.
In the summer of 2022, the first three physicists from Novosibirsk were arrested on suspicion of treason: Shiplyuk, director of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Maslov, chief researcher of the same institute, and Kolker, head of the laboratory of quantum optical technologies of Novosibirsk State University, researcher of the Institute of Laser Physics.
Their cases don't appear to be connected with each other. Kolker was diagnosed with stage four cancer and died on the third day after his arrest. Maslov, 76, is now in the Lefortovo detention center in Moscow. He is suspected of providing data considered state secrets. According to one version, the secret information is related to hypersonic technology.