Russian hypersonic rocket scientists face high treason charges

Three Russian scientists who have worked on hypersonic missile technology face high treason accusations. The Kremlin reported a treason investigation that has spread alarm through Russia’s scientific community.

Three scientists from the Novosibirsk Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Anatoly Maslov, Alexander Shiplyuk and Valery Zvegintsev, who were involved in the development of hypersonic rockets, including “Kindzal”, have been arrested under the article on “high treason”.

The Russian regime is using the “Kindzal” missiles to strike Ukrainian cities and vital infrastructure from a long distance.

In the letter published this week, their colleagues protested their innocence. They said the prosecutions threatened to inflict ‘grave damage on Russian science’.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was aware of an open letter from Siberian scientists in defence of the accused scientists but that the case was an issue for the security services.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has boasted that Russia is the leader in hypersonic missiles, capable of travelling at speeds of up to Mach 10 (12,250 kph) to bypass any air defences. It appeared to be false.

On May 16, Ukraine said it had managed to destroy six weapons in a single night. The Armed Forces of Ukraine announced that they had shot down the Kinzhal using the American Patriot air defense systems developed back in the 1970s, which Kyiv had received from Germany and the Netherlands. Later, the Pentagon officially confirmed the information about the missile interception.

In 2012, Maslov and Shiplyuk presented the results of an experiment on hypersonic missile design at a seminar in Tours, France. In 2016, all three scientists were among the authors of a book chapter entitled “Hypersonic Short-Duration Facilities for Aerodynamic Research at ITAM, Russia”.

Shipluk has also worked in recent years on the protective coating of hypersonic missiles, a topic of his work cited online, The Telegraph wrote.

The letter in support of the detained scientists cited the case of Dmitry Kolker, another Siberian scientist who was arrested last year on suspicion of state treason and flown to Moscow despite suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer. Kolker, a laser specialist, died two days later.

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