Russia charges engineer with spying for foreign agency

Russian authorities have charged an engineer working at a top-secret military facility in the Urals with espionage, accusing him of passing classified information about Russian ballistic missiles to agents of a foreign government. According to the InterFax news agency, which has strong links with the Russian government, the engineer had disclosed “secret data [and] state secrets concerning the area of strategic defense systems “. The Moscow-based news agency quoted an unnamed “Russian law enforcement official” who said that the accused spy worked at a critical research and development position inside a “restricted government facility that develops missile technology”. The source told InterFax that the alleged spy was working on the Russian R-30 Bulava ballistic missile, which is said to be in its final development stage. The R-30 Bulava (the Russian word for “mace”) is the name for Moscow’s latest-generation submarine-based ballistic missile technology. It is widely considered to be one of the future cornerstones of Russia’s nuclear weapons capability, and is thought to be the most expensive weapons project currently being developed in the country. The missile was approved for production last year, and is expected to come to service this coming October, when it will begin to replace Russia’s Soviet-era stock of submarine-launched nuclear missiles. The program is strongly linked to the country’s Borei-class ballistic-missile-capable nuclear submarines, which are expected to be able to launch the R-30 Bulava while underwater and in motion. InterFax said it was unable to find out where the accused spy worked, nor —more importantly— which foreign he is accused of having worked for. But the news agency did say that the unnamed man will face trial in Yekaterinburg, of the Sverdlovsk region in Russia’s Ural Mountains. It will come as no surprise to seasoned intelNews readers that the trial is expected to take place behind closed doors.

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