Head of Russian hypersonic missile lab arrested for alleged treason

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The director of a Russian laboratory working on hypersonic missiles, a weapon that President Vladimir Putin claims is a strategic advantage for Russia in the conflict with Ukraine, has been arrested on suspicion of treason, state news agency Tass reported on Friday. (5).

Hypersonic missiles can travel up to nine times the speed of sound, and Putin said the Russian artifacts are second to none and will be rolled out to the Navy in the coming months.

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Andrei Shiplyuk heads the hypersonics laboratory at the Novosibirsk Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and in recent years has coordinated research to support the development of missile systems using this technology, according to the institute’s website.

Last month, Tass highlighted that Anatoly Maslov, another senior scientist at the institute, had also been arrested.

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According to the agency, colleagues of Shiplyuk said on Friday that searches had been carried out at the institute. An unnamed source pointed out that Shiplyuk had been transferred to Moscow’s Lefortovo prison.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in May that it had successfully tested a Zircon hypersonic missile at a distance of about 1,000 kilometers. Days later, the Northern Fleet commander revealed that the system would be deployed on a new frigate before the end of the year.

Several Russian scientists have been charged in recent years with treason, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison in Russia, for allegedly passing sensitive material to foreigners. Kremlin critics say the arrests are often the result of “baseless paranoia”.

Source: CNN Brasil

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