Putin's security forces ramp up numbers of people arrested for treason

Paranoid Putin’s security forces massively ramp up the number of ‘traitors’ arrested for treason as Vladimir sees enemies everywhere on a scale not seen since Stalin

  • A record 82 treason cases were opened so far this year, a Russian outlet claimed
  • But the actual number is likely to be ‘many times higher’, the outlet has alleged

Paranoid Vladimir Putin’s security forces have massively increased the number of suspected ‘traitors’ they have arrested for treason.

This has led to a record 82 treason cases so far in 2023, according to independent Russian outlet Kholod.

The actual number is likely to be ‘many times higher’, because the FSB security service keeps some cases totally secret, according to independent Russian outlet Kholod.

Between 1997 and 2017 there were a total of 101 treason cases. 

The figures confirm the suspicion that Putin is now seeing enemies everywhere on a scale not seen since the repressive Stalin era.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is pictured at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Aug. 6, 2023

‘If previously the group of risk included employees of defence enterprises, military personnel and scientists who had access to state secrets, now literally everyone can be accused of treason,’ said the report.

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‘Even likes on Instagram and subscriptions on Telegram [messenger service] can lead to a criminal case.’

Lawyer Yevgeny Smirnov, from human rights project Department One, said: ‘Do not forget that the very content of the state secret is a state secret.

‘That is, not a single person in Russia knows what exactly is a state secret and what is not.

‘Each [government] department has its own secret lists of information that they do not show to anyone.’

He said: ‘The FSB has picked up its pace [in 2023] — we get 20 criminal cases a month on average.

‘At this rate, there will be about 250 [treason cases] by the end of December, one for every work day per year.’

Among those jailed for treason is Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza, 41, who holds Russian and British citizenship. He was imprisoned for 25 years for criticising Putin’s war and opposing his regime.

He was also twice poisoned.

Eminent Russian hypersonic scientist Valery Golubkin, 71, was in June sentenced by a Moscow court to 12 years in a strict regime colony for ‘state treason’.

Female IT specialist Tamara Parshina, 23, is one of the youngest to be accused of treason by Putin’s ruthless security forces.

She was then flown for eight hours to be held in Moscow’s top security Lerfortovo detention jail.

Lenie Umerova, 25, (second left ) a Ukrainian citizen from annexed Crimea, is arrested in Moscow in a case of treason

Lenie Umerova, 25, from annexed Crimea, was sent to notorious Lefortovo jail in Moscow on a treason charge that could see her jailed for 20 years – despite being a Ukrainian citizen.

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 last month jailed for 14 years for ‘passing secrets to foreign spies’.

And last week, former Russian defence reporter Ivan Safronov lost his latest appeal against a 22-year jail sentence on charges of treason.

Safronov, a former reporter for the Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers who later worked as an adviser to the head of Russia’s space agency, was arrested in 2020 and accused of disclosing classified information.

He was sentenced in September last year, in what his supporters called a draconian ruling that showed the absence of media freedom in Russia. 

He was accused of handing military secrets to the Czech Republic, a NATO member, but his defence team said the case was revenge for his journalistic reporting on Russian plans to sell fighter jets to Egypt.

Safronov was transferred in February to a high-security prison in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, and was not present for Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision in Moscow.

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