Russia’s security services have reportedly launched an investigation into state treason after a suspected leak of secret hypersonic missile technology to the West from inside some of the country’s leading research labs.
The Federal Security Services (FSB) raided two research facilities linked to the country’s federal space agency, Roscosmos, over the suspected leaks, according to anonymous law enforcement officials cited by the Kommersant business daily Friday. The news came one day after Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had conducted tests of the new Kinzhal hypersonic missile, which President Vladimir Putin touted ahead of his re-election in March.
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As part of its investigation, the FSB reportedly searched the offices of the Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TsNIImash), which develops rockets and space technology, and the office of the United Rocket and Space Corporation’s head of research, Dmitry Payson.
“It’s been established that TsNIImash employees are responsible for the leak,” one of the sources familiar with the FSB case materials was cited as saying by Kommersant.
“What do you think I’ll tell you? ‘He declined to comment,'” Payson was cited as saying by the RBC news website on Friday when asked to comment the allegations.
“The less you mention my name in this context, the better for everyone,” he added.
A Roscosmos official told RBC that the agency was cooperating with FSB officers investigating the case.
The TsNIImash employees suspected in the leak are not involved in hypersonic missile production but have access to sensitive information because of “high levels of cooperation” with the state enterprise that does, Kommersant reported.
“Many heads will roll, and the case will not end with mere dismissals,” a source was cited as saying.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.