Russian physicist sentenced to 14 years in prison for treason

Anatoly Maslov / Photo / WillWest News / Profimedia

Russian physicist Anatoly Maslov, who worked on the development of supersonic rockets, was sentenced to 14 years in a penal colony for treason. At the trial in St. Petersburg, which was closed to the media, 77-year-old Maslov was found guilty. He is one of three scientists from the same Siberian Institute, all hypersonic experts, who have been arrested since 2022 on charges of treason.

Alexander Shiplyuk and Valery Zvegintsev are awaiting trial.

Together, with other colleagues, they carried out theoretical work in areas relevant to the development of supersonic missiles capable of traveling at speeds up to Mach 10 (12.250 km/h) to evade enemy air defenses. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that Russia is the world leader in the development of these weapons.

Lawyer Yevgeny Smirnov said the charges against the three scientists from the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ITAM) in Novosibirsk are almost the same, and they are accused of publishing information considered a state secret at an international conference.

He believes that the verdict against Maslov is a violation of the law.

In the open letter, the colleagues of the three scientists from ITAM write that the data presented by the scientists at international forums were constantly checked to ensure that they did not contain confidential information.

They also warned that such cases have a chilling effect on young Russian scientists. "Already the best students are turning down offers to join the scientific community and come to work with us, and our best young employees are leaving science," they warn in the letter. The Russian media reports the words of the lawyer of the accused Maslov that "he dedicated his whole life to science and never even thought of betraying his country".

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