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Russian Convicted of Passing Military Secrets

RIA Novosti

11:15 18/05/2012

YEKATERINBURG, May 18 (RIA Novosti) - Sverdlovsk regional court on Friday sentenced an employee at a Russian defense firm to eight years in prison for passing secrets on the latest Russian weapons to a foreign intelligence service, the press service of the court reported.

The Kommersant daily reported on Monday that these secrets concern the guidance and control systems of the Bulava intercontinental missile.

“Sverdlovsk regional court declared the sentence of Alexander Gniteev, who was convicted of treason felony. The court sentenced him to eight years in a maximum security penal colony,” the statement reported.

Experts suggest the company in question could be the Yekaterinburg-based Avtomatika Science and Production Association, which has been developing the missile’s control and guidance system.

The court also fined Gniteev 100,000 rubles ($3,216). He will also face stringent travel restrictions after he serves out his sentence.

The verdict has not yet entered into force and may be appealed.

The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM, developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (since 1998), carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey-class nuclear submarines.

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