Developers of Putin's hypersonic missiles arrested in Russia
on 16 May, employees of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ITPM), which was involved in the development of hypersonic missiles for the Russian army, published an open letter.
In it, they reported the arrest of chief scientific officer Valery Zvegintsev. Earlier, IMPA director Aleksandr Shiplyuk and chief scientific officer Anatoly Maslova had also been arrested. All three are charged with state treason, for which they now face life imprisonment in the Russian Federation.
Dmitry Peskov, Putin's speaker, commented on the scientists' appeal.
I don't think the Kremlin can give any reaction. We did see this appeal, but Russian special services are working, they are carrying out their functions. This is a very serious accusation. It is clear that a person can be found guilty only by a court decision. And, of course, during any investigative actions, we have no right to talk about any positions," he said.
A total of 16 people in the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), which is known for its potential in the physics and mathematics field, have fallen under criminal investigation. One of the scientists, 54-year-old Dmitry Kolker, head of a laboratory for quantum optical technologies at Novosibirsk State University, died in a Moscow detention centre shortly after his arrest.
Vladimir Putin is known to have announced the development of hypersonic weapons in 2018. He stated that the KINJAL hypersonic missile system is "guaranteed to overcome" both existing and advanced air and missile defence systems.
on 4 May 2023, the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced that it had shot down the Kynzhal missile using US Patriot air defence systems developed back in the 1970s and transferred to Kiev by Germany and the Netherlands. The information about the missile interception was also confirmed by the Pentagon.
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Artur Zayonts specialises in news from the frontline. A historian by education, Arthur has always sought to bring depth and context to his journalistic work.