Third Russian scientist arrested this summer on treason charges

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Third Russian scientist arrested this summer on treason charges

Alexander Shiplyuk, director of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Siberian Branch, is the third Russian scientist arrested this summer on suspicion of treason.

The institute's scientific director Vasily Fomin told the Russian news agency TASS Shiplyuk was sent to the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center in Moscow.

His arrest came after the arrest of the chief researcher of the institute, Anatoly Maslov, on June 27. He is suspected of transferring state secret data related to hypersonic missiles.

Shiplyuk heads a technology lab with unique wind tunnels that are purpose-built for simulating hypersonic conditions, according to the institute's website.

On June 30, the Sovetsky District Court of Novosibirsk arrested another scientist, Dmitry Kolker, a researcher at the Institute of Laser Physics of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Kolker was arrested on state treason charges for allegedly collaborating with China's security services. Kolker, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer, died in the pre-trial detention center. Military powers in Russia, China, and the United States are working on developing hypersonic glide vehicle HGV weapons. These are highly maneuverable weapons that can theoretically fly at hypersonic speeds while adjusting course and altitude to fly under radar detection and around missile defenses. Such weapons are incredibly hard to defend against, according to experts. Russia is thought to have an HGV in its arsenal, the Avangard system, which Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in 2018 was practically invulnerable to Western air defenses.