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Russia detains hypersonic missile engineers for treason

Wednesday, 17 May 2023, 20:14
Russia detains hypersonic missile engineers for treason

Three scientists of the Novosibirsk Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, who were engaged in the development of hypersonic missiles, were arrested one by one by the security forces under the high treason article.

Source: The Moscow Times

Details: Reportedly, on Tuesday, 16 May, employees of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics published an open letter informing about the arrest on suspicion of treason of Valery Zvyagintsev, doctor of technical sciences and chief researcher who founded the laboratory of high-speed aerodynamics at the institute.


Zvehintsev has been under house arrest since 7 April. His supervisor, Aleksandr Shiplyuk, the Director of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, was placed in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention centre in August of last year, a few days after the arrest of Anatoly Maslov, the chief researcher. Both were charged under the same Article 275 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, high treason. Maslov was suspected of transferring data related to hypersonic technologies to China.

Shiplyuk and Maslov have worked on hypersonic missiles for over 10 years. They presented an experimental design of such a weapon in 2012 at a scientific seminar in France. Four years later, the two scientists published a joint paper on aerodynamic research at hypersonic speeds.

In recent years, Shiplyuk has also worked on the protective coating of hypersonic missiles.

In total, 16 people were prosecuted in the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, known for its strong potential in physics and mathematics, including Aleksandr Aseev, the former head and academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. One of the scientists, 54-year-old Dmytro Kolker, the head of the laboratory of quantum optical technologies at the Novosibirsk State University, died in the Moscow pre-trial detention centre shortly after his arrest by FSB officers.

Background: The Russian invaders attacked Ukraine with 18 missiles of various types, including a hypersonic Kinzhal missile, on the night of 15-16 May, with all Russian targets shot down by the defenders.

A few days before, the military destroyed another Kinzhal missile on the approach to Kyiv.

For reference: In 2018, President Vladimir Putin announced the creation of hypersonic weapons in Russia. In particular, he boasted about the Zircon, Avangard and Kinzhal missiles.

Putin assured that any anti-aircraft defence would be powerless against the Kinzhal.

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