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6 Oct, 2020 10:59

Brotherly treason: Russian serviceman & sibling arrested for allegedly handing state secrets to NATO’s Estonia

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has arrested two brothers on suspicion of passing sensitive information to the secret service of NATO member Estonia. They face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of high treason.

According to the FSB, the men worked together to collect and transmit secret information to the authorities in Tallinn. They were arrested separately in the western Russian cities of Smolensk and Pskov. One of them is a serviceman in the Russian armed forces, and the other lives in Estonia.

Under high treason laws, the brothers can expect to serve between 12 and 20 years behind bars if found guilty of “collecting and transmitting state secrets.”

A video published by the FSB shows the brothers’ arrests. One of them was in  military uniform and carrying a briefcase when he was caught.

Estonia is a former member state of the Soviet Union. Since its independence in 1991, the country has looked westward, joining both NATO and the EU in 2004. Over the past few decades relations between Russia and Estonia have atrophied, with both countries accusing the other of varying degrees of hostility.

Also on rt.com Ex-journalist Ivan Safronov charged with high treason, after allegedly passing secret information to NATO

The two siblings are the latest in a steady stream of Russian citizens arrested for high treason in 2020. In July, an ex-journalist turned adviser to the head of Russia’s space agency, Ivan Safronov, was charged with passing information to Czech spooks. Later that month, a serviceman from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was detained for allegedly working for Ukrainian Intelligence. In October, nuclear physicist Alexander Lukanin was arrested after being accused of passing secrets to China.

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