Russian authorities have arrested two people suspected of sharing secrets about Moscow’s hypersonic missiles to one of the NATO countries, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Viktor Kudryavtsev, a 74-year-old researcher at a rocket and spacecraft design plant, was arrested on July 19 by Russia’s Federal Security Service, according to Russian news reports.
“Viktor Kudryavtsev, an employee of the Central Scientific Research Institute of Oil and Gas, is actually arrested, and investigative actions are being carried out with him,” Vladimir Ustimenko, the head of the Roskomos press service, said to Russian news agency Itar-Tass.
Ustimenko did not name the country that Kudryavtsev is suspected of giving the information to, nor did he specify what parts of the missile program were leaked.
“V.V. was actively involved in international cooperation during the 1990s and 2000s in the framework of international projects and agreements,” said Yaroslav Kudryavtsev, Viktor’s son. “He traveled on work trips to Brazil, India, China, European countries and participated in conferences on aerodynamics. He has co-authored publications with international scientists.”
“According to my father, he had a low level of access to secret files, because his daughter lives permanently abroad,” the son said.
Ustimenko also said Rosocomos analytics director Dmitry Payson is being held as a witness for the investigation but is not under suspicion.
A second person was also reportedly arrested for treason as part of the investigation, according to The Beacon.
As reported by RIA Novosti, Roskosmos has no information about an arrest of a second employee.
Federal Security Service first raided the offices in the state space research centers due to suspicions that sensitive information had been leaked to a NATO-allied nation, Newsweek reported.
The leak included information about a classified hypersonic technology project under development for the space agency Roscosmos by their development center, TsNIIMash.
Undersecretary of defense for research and engineering Michael Griffin explained that the main concern is that they have a “very quick response, high speed, highly maneuverability, difficult to find and track and kill.”
These weapons are launched on top of ballistic missiles and “travel at speeds of Mach 5 or greater, or more than 3,836 miles per hour.” They are able to move along the edge of the atmosphere and reach their target in a matter of minutes.
The United States currently has no defense against these weapons.
The FSB is investigating around a dozen people from TsNIIMash for their cooperation with Western intelligence agencies, according to Kommersant.
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