Russian physicist sentenced to 14 years in prison for collaborative work with EU

Photo: St. Petersburg courts joint press service

Photo: St. Petersburg courts joint press service

A 77-year-old Russian physicist was sentenced to 14 years in a high-security penal colony on Tuesday after being found guilty of treason by a court in St. Petersburg for allegedly sharing state secrets about Russia’s development of hypersonic weapons.

Should Anatoly Maslov complete his sentence, he will then undergo a year of restricted liberty, be placed under curfew and barred from attending public events or leaving his immediate neighbourhood. Maslov will also be unable to work in his field, as his access to state secrets will remain revoked for two years after his release.

According to the authorities, Maslov was arrested for disclosing state secrets by sharing information about hypersonic weapons abroad. The scientific journal T-Invariant published an article alleging Maslov’s arrest was more likely to have been connected to his participation in an EU hypersonic weapons research project that was aimed at strengthening scientific collaboration between Russia and the EU.

Several of Maslov’s colleagues who were also involved in the project have also been arrested for treason.

Maslov was arrested for treason in June 2022 and detained in pretrial detention. In February Maslov suffered a heart attack and was hospitalised, according to his lawyer, Olga Dinze.

Maslov denied all the charges against him at his trial, which was held behind closed doors due to the sensitive nature of the charges.

Maslov was the chief researcher at the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which published a statement in his defence.

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