Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

VLADIMIR Putin has jailed one of the world’s top hypersonic missile scientists for high treason after he was accused of leaking Russian secrets to the West.

Professor Anatoly Gubanov, 66,  is the latest leading academic to be locked up by the oppressive Russian regime – being sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Anatoly Gubanov, 66, has been jailed by Vladimir Putin

He was involved in the development of hypersonic missiles – such as the Kinzhal

The physicist is an expert on hypersonic technology – something which many of Putin’s prized superweapons rely upon to travel a speeds vastly quicker than the speed of sound.

Hypersonic weapons are a major arms race between Russia, the US and China as they each seek to develop faster and more powerful missiles.

Weapons that fall into the hypersonic category can travel at speeds more than 4,000mph – Mach 5.

Gubanov was head of the secretive Aerodynamics of Aircraft and Rocket Department at the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) in Zhukovsky, Moscow.

The dad-of-five had been given permission three times to share details of Russian research with a project coordinated by the European Space Agency called Hexafly-INT.

This venture included specialists from Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Australia. 

One of his pals, Valery Golubkin, 70, was jailed in June for 12 years.

Russia has accused the men of sharing secrets with a Nato country – sparking fury from Putin.

The case is seen as evidence of Mad Vlad’s regime’s increasing paranoia toward scientific cooperation with foreign countries.

Three hypersonic missile scientists based at an institute in Siberia are also currently on trial facing treason charges.

The Perviy Otdel human rights project said that the material involving high-speed passenger aircraft running on hydrogen fuel had been shared with Western scientists only after it was cleared by three specialised Russian commissions prior to submission.

None of these commissions – overseen by the FSB security service – found state secrets in the reports.

Senior scientists have warned that treason cases against scientists will have a chilling effect on young researchers.

Gubanov, held in an FSB swoop in 2020, is known as an expert on supersonic solid rocket engines.

Gubanov is from a dynasty of scientists which included his father-in-law Professor  Leonid Shkadov, a leading Soviet aviation designer. 

Two of his daughters and one son – all physicists – also work at TsAGI.

Interfax says the professor is suspected of passing “information consisting of state secrets abroad” or committing “other acts aimed against the security of Russia in the interests of a foreign state, organisation or representatives”.

When he was held colleagues told Interfax they were “surprised” by the arrest of a man “respected by his students”.

Another hypersonic scientist Alexander Shiplyuk, 56, was held in a swoop by the FSB counterintelligence agency in Novosibirsk, Siberia where he heads the Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.

Professor Anatoly Maslov, 75, a pioneer of hypersonic technologies, was also held on suspicion of treason.

Acclaimed laser scientist Dr Dmitry Kolker, 54, died last year two days after he was seized from his cancer hospital bed and shut away in one of Russia’s most notorious jails as a “spy”.

Ilya Sachkov, 37, founder of pioneering Group-IB, once awarded by Putin, was jailed for 14 years for ‘passing secrets to foreign spies’.

Anatoly Gubanov was a dad-of-five – pictured with his family

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