A Russian man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison after being caught trying to pass secret information about the country’s Northern Fleet to America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Yury Eshchenko, who worked for an organization that serviced radio-electronic systems on naval ships, pleaded guilty to high treason, and will serve his sentence in a high-security prison.
From 2015 to 2017, Eshchenko carefully copied documentation about weapons systems used in the Northern Fleet, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB). In early 2019, he established contact with American officials. He was arrested later that year, in July. The exact details of what Eshchenko copied have not been made public.
Based in Severomorsk, a closed city in the far north of Russia’s Kola Peninsula, the Northern Fleet is responsible for operations and defense along the Arctic coast, including the Barents Sea and Kara Sea.
Eshchenko is not the only Russian to have faced charges of high treason in 2020. Earlier this year, a court sentenced military historian and Armed Forces reservist Andrey Zhukov to twelve and a half years after sharing information about the army on the internet. In July, former journalist Ivan Safronov was controversially arrested by state security after allegedly passing information to the Czech Republic.