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Spying for NATO: Aide to Head of Russian Space Agency Roscosmos Faces Treason Charges

South Front reports…

Russian state space agency Roscosmos just found itself in another scandal.

On July 7, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Ivan Safronov, a former journalist (specialised in military affairs) who works as an aide to the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos. He’s accused of treason.

The FSB said that Safronov worked for the foreign intelligence service of an unspecified NATO country and had been handing over classified military information.

Roscosmos said that detention of Safronov was not linked to his work with Roscosmos, where he is an adviser to General Director Dmitry Rogozin. Safronov joined Roscosmos as a media adviser in May. He is expected to appear in court later on July 7.

“The Federal Security Service detained Ivan Safronov, advisor to the director general of Roscosmos state corporation, in Moscow. Safronov was performing tasks of one of NATO intelligence services, collecting state confidential data about Russia’s military and technical cooperation, defense and security and handing it over to its [NATO intelligence service] representative,” the FSB said.

Prosecution launched criminal proceedings on the count of state treason against Safronov, which carries 20 years behind bars. The investigation continues.

Ivan Safrinov arrested by Russian authorities this week.

The TASS news agency reports:

Safronov was born in Moscow in 1990. He graduated from Moscow’s Higher School of Economics in 2010, obtaining a degree in journalism. He worked as a special correspondent for Russia’s Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers and was covering military and military-technical cooperation as well as defense and space industries. In May 2020, Safronov was appointed advisor to the Roscosmos chief for information policy and was curating a number of Roscosmos programs.

Earlier, Safronov was involved in several scandals regarding the publication of supposedly sensitive data regarding the military industrial cooperation of Russia with other states.

For example, the TASS news agency reported that in 2019 prosecutors wanted to bring a civil case against Kommersant for disclosing an unspecified sensitive data in one of Safronov articles. The article, which remains unavailable, said that Egypt had signed a deal with Russia to buy more than 20 SU-35 multi-role fighter jets. Following the publication of the article, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened Egypt with sanctions if it went ahead with the purchase.

Safronov claims that he was forced to leave Kommersant after he published an article based on ‘anonymous sources’ and speculating that Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of the upper house of parliament, might leave her post. The speculations appeared to be false and the article was removed.

Taking into account the public approach of the FSB in this case, it’s likely that the security service has overwhelming evidence confirming the treason…

Read more at South Front

READ MORE NATO NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire NATO Files




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