A Russian scientist, Andrei Shiplyuk, who may have been involved in Russian president Vladimir Putin’s top-secret hypersonic missiles was arrested for treason in Siberia, the Telegraph UK reported.
Shiplyuk was the chief of the hypersonics laboratory at the Novosibirsk Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. In recent years, he also coordinated research to develop hypersonic missile systems.
The Novosibirsk Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics is the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. He is the third top Russian scientist from Novosibirsk to be arrested in the past one and a half months.
The other two scientists who were arrested were – Anatoly Maslov and Dmitry Kolker. These two were accused of passing state secrets to China.
Dmitry Kolker was flown to Lefortovo interrogation centre in Moscow where he died two days later as he was receiving treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer in Novosibirsk.
Following the arrest of Shiplyuk, his apartment was searched by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). Shiplyuk was a career scientist, who worked his way to the top. He was appointed director of the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute in Novosibirsk in 2015.
Vasily Fomin, head of the Institute, confirmed that Shiplyuk was arrested on charges of treason. “He was arrested. He is charged with the same thing as Maslov, treason,” Fomin said.
Reporters also found that Shiplyuk discussed on online forums coating for hypersonic missiles and also how to update the Russian military in its Army 2020 project. There was a photo where Shiplyuk was seen posing next to a tank.
Shiplyuk was transferred to Moscow’s Lefortovo prison like his other colleagues. Critics of Russian president Vladimir Putin accuse him of arresting scientists on the basis of unfounded paranoia.
Treason in Russia is punishable by twenty years in prison.
Russia’s war against Ukraine continues and Putin in a show of power has tested the new hypersonic Zircon anti-aircraft carrier missile. He claims it is unstoppable and also said that another missile, the Satan-2 armed with 14 warheads, is being developed. Putin claims it is the world’s most dangerous weapon.
Both missiles are expected to be ready to be fired at enemy targets by the end of the year.