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Russian sentenced to 13 years for trying to pass classified materials to CIA

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A Russian man has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for attempting to hand classified material to U.S. intelligence.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) said on November 20 that the Bryansk regional court had found that Yury Yeshchenko had illegally collected secret material related to electronic equipment developed for the Russian Navy, while working for a company involved in maintaining military vessels in the northwestern city of Murmansk in 2015-2017.

In 2019, the FSB said, Yeshchenko was caught red-handed while trying to pass the classified materials to a CIA operative.

Yeshchenko pleaded guilty, the FSB said.

Russian human rights organizations said earlier that, since President Vladimir Putin took over the country in late 1999, some 100 Russian citizens had been sentenced on high treason and espionage charges.