Russian Professors Sentenced for Selling Missile Secrets

The St. Petersburg City Court on Wednesday sentenced two university professors to long prison terms for selling military secrets to China, including sensitive data on Russia’s Bulava missile system.

Yevgeny Afanasyev from the Baltic State Technical University, Voyenmekh, was found guilty of high treason and will serve 12 years and six months in a high security prison.

His colleague, Svyatoslav Bobyshev, was sentenced to 12 years in a high security prison on similar charges.

According to investigations, Afanasyev and Bobyshev passed secret information on the specifications of the Bulava-30 sea-based ballistic missile to Chinese intelligence officers for $7,000 while on a business trip to China in 2009.

Experts believe that the information sold to China could be used for detecting Russian strategic submarines.

The two men were arrested in March 2010 and have remained in prison ever since. In July 2010, the Committee for the Defense of Scientists pronounced them “victims of spy mania.”

The trial was held behind closed doors. Both men pleaded not guilty and their lawyers said they would appeal the court ruling.

In another recent Bulava secrets case, Alexander Gniteev, an employee at a Russian defense company in the Urals region was sentenced to eight years in prison for passing data on Bulava control and guidance systems to an unidentified foreign intelligence agency.


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