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One of Russia’s top hypersonic missile scientists has been arrested for treason in Siberia.
Alexander Shiplyuk may have been working on Vladimir Putin’s top-secret hypersonic missiles when he was arrested.
He was a director at the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and is the third top Russian scientist based in Novosibirsk to be arrested for treason in the past six weeks.
Police arrested Anatoly Maslov, a physicist specialising in aerodynamics, and Dmitry Kolker, a maths professor and laser specialist, for passing state secrets on to China in June. They were flown to the Lefortovo interrogation centre in Moscow.
Kolker died within two days of arriving at Lefortovo. He had been receiving treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer in Novosibirsk.
The TASS news agency reported that after his arrest FSB intelligence agents searched the offices of Mr Shiplyuk, a career scientist who worked his way up from trainee to be appointed a director of the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute in Novosibirsk in 2015.
“This was connected with our director Alexander Nikolaevich Shiplyuk. He was arrested. He is charged with the same thing as Maslov, treason,” said Vasily Fomin, head of the Institute.
Mr Shiplyuk is quoted online discussing coating for hypersonic missiles and how science can be used to help update the Russian military in a project called Army-2020. One online photo showed Mr Shiplyuk posing next to a tank.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has stalled but Mr Putin has still boasted that his new hypersonic Zircon anti-aircraft carrier missile is “unstoppable”” and that a new nuclear missile called Satan-2, which is armed with 14 warheads, is the most dangerous weapon in the world.
Russian officials have said that both missiles will be ready to be fired at enemy targets by the end of the year.