Russian scientists object to the ‘talented’ hypersonic researchers who were detained on treasonous grounds.
Members of a Russian scientific center have protested the arrest of three Russian scientists on treason charges and warned that the action has chilling effects on the community.
According to an open letter issued this week by colleagues of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ITAM), the three Russian scientists Anatoly Maslov, Alexander Shiplyuk, and Valery Zvegintsev were held by the nation’s security agencies in the previous year.
They conducted research into the creation of hypersonic aircraft as part of their work.
The letter pleaded with the Russian government to “protect Russian aerodynamic science” and forewarned staff members not to “do their job” because they might be held accountable.
“Any article or report can result in treason charges,” it stated.
“The work we receive awards for and are praised as examples of tomorrow becomes the subject of criminal prosecution. Our institute simply cannot function under these conditions, the letter continued.
According to the institute’s website, Zvegintsev established a lab for hypersonic technology research in 2001, and Shiplyuk assumed control of it in 2006.
Shiplyuk and Maslov were reportedly detained in Moscow last summer, according to TASS. The state news agency reported that both scientists were suspected of disclosing hypersound-related state secrets.
Zvegintsev, the director of ITAM, was reportedly put under house arrest on Tuesday, according to TASS, which cited a court order. It now appears that the court’s website has removed that comment.
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The letter written by Zvegintsev’s coworkers stated, “The materials of all three criminal cases are closed to the public, but we know from open sources that the acts for which our colleagues can spend the rest of their lives in prison are something that is considered essential all over the world, including in Russia.
In addition, it stated that “high-quality scientific activity” includes “making presentations at international seminars and conferences, publishing articles in prestigious journals, and participating in international scientific projects.”
“All three of them (the three scientists detained) are renowned for their outstanding scientific findings. They were able to secure a well-paying position and prestigious position overseas due to their skills and professional reputations, but they remained in their own countries and dedicated their lives to advancing Russian science, according to the ITAM letter.
The Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch made a request, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, who said he was aware of it but was unable to respond because of the ongoing inquiry.