Russian professors jailed for passing military secrets to China

The R-30 BulavaBy IAN ALLEN | |
Two Russian professors were convicted yesterday of handing over to Chinese government agents highly classified technical details about one of Russia’s most secretive military projects. Svyatoslav Bobyshev and Yevgeny Afanasyev, both employees of the military-affiliated Baltic State Technological University in St. Petersburg, had been arrested in March 2010 on suspicion of spying for a foreign government. The two have now been sentenced by the St. Petersburg City Court to 12 and 12 ½ years in prison respectively, after having been found guilty of treason. According to the court documents, Bobyshev and Afanasyev traveled to China in 2009, where they passed on to Chinese military intelligence officers highly secret technical details about Russia’s R-30 Bulava ballistic missile. Specifically, the two professors are accused of sharing information relating to Bulava’s underwater launch specifications. Additionally, the Russian government prosecutor said that the two were preparing to provide the Chinese with information about two of Russia’s land-based missile systems, the Topol-M and Iskander. 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. Read more of this post

Russia jails man for passing military secrets to US Pentagon

Iskander missile

Iskander missile

A Serb national was given an eight-year sentence by a Russian court earlier today, for allegedly passing classified information on Russian defense projects to an agent of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Agents with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, arrested the 61-year-old man, named Aleksandar Georgijevic, at a Moscow airport in 2007, as he was reportedly trying to leave Russia. They accused him of giving secret documents to Farid Rafi, whom the Russians claim was “working in the interests of the intelligence agency of the US defense ministry”. Georgijevic’s trial took place behind closed doors. But Russian media report that he began collecting classified information in as early as 1998, focusing primarily on the Russian military’s R-500 supersonic cruise missile, as well as the Iskander, Blokada and Khrizantema-C  tactical missiles. Read more of this post

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