The recent sentencing of Professor Anatoly Gubanov to 12 years in prison for sharing technology with the West highlights Russia’s increasing paranoia towards scientific cooperation with foreign countries.
In a disturbing trend, Professor Anatoly Gubanov has become the latest in a string of top academic figures to be imprisoned by the Russian government. Despite having permission to share technology with the West, Gubanov was sentenced to 12 years in prison for “high treason.” This case is evidence of the Putin regime’s growing paranoia towards scientific collaboration with foreign countries.
Gubanov, a renowned hypersonic scientist and expert in hypersonic aviation technology and high-speed missiles, was the head of the Aerodynamics of Aircraft and Rocket Department at the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute in Moscow. He had been given permission three times to share Russian research with a project coordinated by the European Space Agency, which involved specialists from several countries, including Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Australia.
This case is not an isolated incident. Fellow hypersonic scientist Valery Golubkin was also imprisoned earlier this year for allegedly leaking secrets to a NATO country. Golubkin maintained that he only shared information cleared by Russian authorities and that no secrets were involved. Additionally, three hypersonic missile scientists based in Siberia are currently on trial facing treason charges.
The material shared by Gubanov and Golubkin had been cleared by three specialized Russian commissions overseen by the Federal Security Service (FSB) prior to submission. None of these commissions found any state secrets in the reports. Despite this, the Putin regime continues to crack down on scientists, purging some of Russia’s top academics and creating a chilling effect on young researchers.
The sentencing of Gubanov and others highlights the increasing paranoia of the Russian government towards scientific cooperation with foreign countries. This trend not only stifles scientific progress but also raises concerns about the protection of intellectual property rights and the freedom of scientific exchange. It is crucial for the international community to address these issues and advocate for the protection of scientific collaboration and the rights of scientists worldwide.