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NATO approves a plan to speed security aid and training to Ukraine's beleaguered armed forces

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NATO approves a plan to speed security aid and training to Ukraine's beleaguered armed forces
News

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NATO approves a plan to speed security aid and training to Ukraine's beleaguered armed forces

2024-06-14 20:59 Last Updated At:21:00

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO defense ministers on Friday approved a plan to provide reliable long-term security aid and military training for Ukraine after delays in Western deliveries of funds, arms and ammunition helped invading Russian forces to seize the initiative on the battlefield.

Kyiv’s Western backers have mostly concentrated their efforts through the Pentagon-run Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a forum for around 50 countries to drum up the weapons and ammunition the war-ravaged country needs most.

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A general view of a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO defense ministers on Friday approved a plan to provide reliable long-term security aid and military training for Ukraine after delays in Western deliveries of funds, arms and ammunition helped invading Russian forces to seize the initiative on the battlefield.

Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, right, poses with Turkey's Defense Minister Yasar Guler during a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, right, poses with Turkey's Defense Minister Yasar Guler during a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, center left, shakes hands with Poland's Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, center right, during a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, center left, shakes hands with Poland's Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, center right, during a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Netherland's Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, center right, speaks with Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. General Christopher Cavoli during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Netherland's Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, center right, speaks with Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. General Christopher Cavoli during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Netherland's Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, right, speaks with British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, left, during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Netherland's Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, right, speaks with British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, left, during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, center, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, center, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

NATO defense ministers pose for a group photo during a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

NATO defense ministers pose for a group photo during a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, left center, waits for the start of a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, left center, waits for the start of a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, right, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, right, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, front center right, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, front center left, during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, front center right, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, front center left, during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, front center, shakes hands with Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, center row left, during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, front center, shakes hands with Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, center row left, during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

The new plan would be a complementary effort. Announcing the move after chairing a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the effort would be headquartered at a U.S. military base in Wiesbaden, Germany and involve almost 700 staff.

He said that it would help to organize training for Ukrainian military personnel in member countries of the alliance, coordinate and plan donations of the equipment that Kyiv needs, and manage the transfer and repair of that military materiel.

The effort has been described as a way to “Trump proof” NATO backing for Ukraine, a reference to concern that former President Donald Trump might withdraw U.S. support for Kyiv should he return to office.

“It’s to make it proof to any situation,” Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting.

“We have to consider the fact that this (war) might go on for years. We want to have something in place that does not depend on specific persons, ministers, or whoever, but a structure that works,” she said.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who leads a stridently nationalist government, has routinely hindered NATO and European Union efforts to help Ukraine. He threatened to veto the plan but agreed to let other allies move ahead if Budapest wasn’t forced to take part.

Kyiv’s outgunned forces are battling to hold back a bigger Russian army. Troop numbers, ammunition and air defenses have run low as the Kremlin’s forces try to cripple the national power supply and punch through the front line in eastern parts of the country.

Moscow has taken advantage of a lengthy delay in U.S. military aid. EU funds were also held up by political infighting.

Ukraine will need to weather the onslaught through the summer, military analysts say, and at the same time train more soldiers, build fortifications and hope that Western military aid deliveries speed up so that Kyiv can mount a new offensive next year.

Stoltenberg has expressed hopes that U.S. President Joe Biden and his counterparts will agree at their July 9-11 summit in Washington to maintain the funding level for military support they have provided Ukraine since Russia launched its full-fledged invasion in February 2022.

He estimates this at around 40 billion euros ($43 billion) worth of equipment each year.

“We don’t yet have agreement on that,” he told reporters after Friday's meeting.

A general view of a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

A general view of a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, right, poses with Turkey's Defense Minister Yasar Guler during a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, right, poses with Turkey's Defense Minister Yasar Guler during a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, center left, shakes hands with Poland's Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, center right, during a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, center left, shakes hands with Poland's Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, center right, during a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine council in defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 13, 2024. NATO defense ministers gathered Thursday hoping to agree on a new plan to provide long-term security assistance and military training to Ukraine, after Hungary promised not to veto the scheme as long as it's not forced to take part. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Netherland's Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, center right, speaks with Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. General Christopher Cavoli during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Netherland's Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, center right, speaks with Supreme Allied Commander Europe, U.S. General Christopher Cavoli during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Netherland's Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, right, speaks with British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, left, during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Netherland's Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren, right, speaks with British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, left, during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, center, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, center, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council in NATO defense ministers format at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

NATO defense ministers pose for a group photo during a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

NATO defense ministers pose for a group photo during a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, left center, waits for the start of a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, left center, waits for the start of a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, right, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, right, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, front center right, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, front center left, during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, front center right, speaks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, front center left, during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, front center, shakes hands with Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, center row left, during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, front center, shakes hands with Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, center row left, during a group photo of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, June 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Treason cases were rare in Russia 30 years ago, with only a handful brought annually. In the past decade and especially since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, however, the number has soared, along with espionage prosecutions.

They are ensnaring citizens and foreigners alike. Recent victims range from Kremlin critics and independent journalists to veteran scientists working with countries that Moscow considers friendly.

One rights group counted over 100 known treason cases in 2023, with probably another 100 that nobody knows about.

The prosecutions have raised comparisons to the show trials and purges under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in the 1930s.

They are usually held in strict isolation in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo Prison, their trials are held behind closed doors and almost always result in convictions and long prison terms. They are investigated almost exclusively by the powerful Federal Security Service, or FSB, with specific charges and evidence shrouded in secrecy.

These cases stand apart from the unprecedented crackdown on dissent under President Vladimir Putin, who in 2022 urged security services to “harshly suppress the actions of foreign intelligence services (and) promptly identify traitors, spies and saboteurs.”

Some key takeaways of this trend of prosecuting high crimes:

Mass anti-government protests erupted in Moscow in 2011-12, with officials blaming the West. The legal definition of treason was then expanded to include providing vaguely defined “assistance” to foreign countries or organizations, effectively exposing to prosecution anyone in contact with foreigners.

The changes to the law were heavily criticized by rights advocates, including the Presidential Human Rights Council. Putin later agreed with council members that “there shouldn’t be any broad interpretation of what high treason is.”

But that broad interpretation was exactly what the authorities began applying — especially after 2014, when Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine, threw its weight behind a separatist insurgency in the eastern part of the country, and fell out with the West for the first time since the Cold War.

Svetlana Davydova, a mother of seven in the western region of Smolensk, contacted Ukraine’s Embassy in Moscow in 2014, saying she thought Russian troops from a nearby base were heading to eastern Ukraine. She was arrested in 2015 on treason charges under the law's expanded definition.

The case drew national attention and outrage. Russia at the time denied its troops were involved in eastern Ukraine, and the case against Davydova directly contradicted that narrative. The charges against her were eventually dropped in what turned out to be a rare exception to the increasing cases that in subsequent years consistently ended in convictions and prison terms.

Prosecution targets included journalists writing about Russia's military, as well as eminent scientists in fields that could have applications in weapons development. Professional groups say the scientists are punished for publishing articles in journals and participating in international projects that usually are part of their normal work.

Among them:

— Ivan Safronov, an adviser to the Roscosmos space agency and a former military affairs journalist, was convicted of treason in 2022 and was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He denied the charges, and his prosecution was widely seen as retaliation for his reporting on the military.

— Physicist Dmitry Kolker was arrested on treason charges in Novosibirsk in 2022, taken by the FSB from a hospital while suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer. Kolker, 54, had studied light waves and gave several approved lectures in China. He “wasn't revealing anything (secret) in them,” said his son, Maksim. Shortly after the scientist was taken to Lefortovo Prison, the family was told he had died in a hospital.

— Valery Golubkin, a physicist specializing in aerodynamics who is now 71, was arrested in 2021 and convicted of treason in 2023. His state-run research institute was working on an international project of a hypersonic civilian aircraft, and he was asked by his employer to help with reports on the project. His 12-year sentence was upheld despite appeals, and his family now can only hope for his release on parole.

— Physicist Anatoly Maslov, 77, who was working on hypersonics, was convicted of treason in May and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Treason or espionage cases involving writers, journalists and others:

— Vladimir Kara-Murza, an opposition politician, was charged with treason in 2022 after giving speeches in the West that were critical of Russia. After surviving what he believed were attempts to poison him in 2015 and 2017, Kara-Murza was convicted last year and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

— The Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich was arrested in 2023 on espionage charges, the first American reporter so accused since the Cold War. Gershkovich, whose trial began in June, denies the charges, and the U.S. government has declared him wrongfully detained.

— Ksenia Khavana, 33, was arrested on treason charges in Yekaterinburg in February, accused of collecting money for Ukraine’s military. The dual Russian-U.S. citizen had returned from Los Angeles to visit relatives, and the charges reportedly stem from a $51 donation to a United States-based charity that helps Ukraine.

— Paul Whelan, a U.S. corporate security executive who traveled to Moscow to attend a wedding, was arrested in 2018 and convicted of espionage two years later, and sentenced to 16 years in prison. He denies the charges.

Some cases involving scientists can probably be traced to a Putin speech in 2018, when he touted Russia's hypersonic weapons program. The security services may want to show the Kremlin that Russia's scientific advances are so impressive that foreign powers want to go after them, lawyer Evgeny Smirnov says.

If a security service wants to authorize surveillance or a wiretap on a subject, it's far easier to get authorities to approve such measures if it's for a treason case, said Andrei Soldatov, a journalist and expert on the FSB.

Smirnov says the rise in prosecutions came after the FSB allowed its regional branches in 2022 to pursue certain kinds of treason cases, and officials in those areas sought to curry favor with their superiors to advance their careers.

Above all, Soldatov said, is the FSB’s genuine belief of “the fragility of the regime” at a time of a political turmoil — either from mass protests, as in 2011-12, or now amid the war in Ukraine.

“They sincerely believe (the regime) can break,” even if it’s really not the case, he said.

FILE - Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, listens to a verdict that found him guilty of espionage in Moscow, Russia, on June 15, 2020. Whelan, a U.S. corporate security executive who traveled to Moscow to attend a wedding, was arrested in 2018. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison and denies the charges. (Sofia Sandurskaya, Moscow News Agency photo via AP, File)

FILE - Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, listens to a verdict that found him guilty of espionage in Moscow, Russia, on June 15, 2020. Whelan, a U.S. corporate security executive who traveled to Moscow to attend a wedding, was arrested in 2018. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison and denies the charges. (Sofia Sandurskaya, Moscow News Agency photo via AP, File)

FILE - Ksenia Karelina, also known by the last name of Khavana, sits in a defendant’s cage in a court in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on Thursday, June 20, 2024. The dual Russian-U.S. citizen was arrested on treason charges in Yekaterinburg in February after returning from Los Angeles to visit relatives, and the charges reportedly stem from her $51 donation to a U.S. charity that helps Ukraine. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - Ksenia Karelina, also known by the last name of Khavana, sits in a defendant’s cage in a court in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on Thursday, June 20, 2024. The dual Russian-U.S. citizen was arrested on treason charges in Yekaterinburg in February after returning from Los Angeles to visit relatives, and the charges reportedly stem from her $51 donation to a U.S. charity that helps Ukraine. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is escorted from court after a pre-trial hearing in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. Gershkovich was arrested on espionage charges during a reporting trip to the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg. He, his employer and the U.S. government have vehemently denied the charges, and Washington has declared him wrongfully detained. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

FILE - Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is escorted from court after a pre-trial hearing in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. Gershkovich was arrested on espionage charges during a reporting trip to the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg. He, his employer and the U.S. government have vehemently denied the charges, and Washington has declared him wrongfully detained. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

FILE - Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza is escorted to a hearing in a court in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 8, 2023. Kara-Murza, an opposition politician, was charged with treason in 2022 after giving speeches in the West that were critical of Russia. He rejected the charges as politically motivated. He was convicted last year and given a 25-year prison term, the harshest sentence handed to a Kremlin critic in post-Soviet Russia. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza is escorted to a hearing in a court in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 8, 2023. Kara-Murza, an opposition politician, was charged with treason in 2022 after giving speeches in the West that were critical of Russia. He rejected the charges as politically motivated. He was convicted last year and given a 25-year prison term, the harshest sentence handed to a Kremlin critic in post-Soviet Russia. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - In this photo released by the Moscow City Court Press Service, Valery Golubkin, a physicist specializing in aerodynamics, stands in a defendant’s cage in a court in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, June 26, 2023. Golubkin, 71, was arrested in 2021 and convicted of treason in 2023 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing state secrets abroad, but he and his lawyers insisted he merely submitted research reports on an international project that didn’t contain any state secrets and were cleared for submission. (Moscow City Court Press Service via AP, File)

FILE - In this photo released by the Moscow City Court Press Service, Valery Golubkin, a physicist specializing in aerodynamics, stands in a defendant’s cage in a court in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, June 26, 2023. Golubkin, 71, was arrested in 2021 and convicted of treason in 2023 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing state secrets abroad, but he and his lawyers insisted he merely submitted research reports on an international project that didn’t contain any state secrets and were cleared for submission. (Moscow City Court Press Service via AP, File)

FILE - In this photo taken from video provided by the Moscow City Court, Ivan Safronov, an adviser to the director of Russia's space agency, right, stands in court prior to a hearing in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Sept. 5, 2022. Safronov, a former military affairs journalist, was convicted of treason and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing military secrets to Czech intelligence and a German national, which he denied. The case has been widely viewed as retaliation for his reporting. (Moscow City Court via AP, File)

FILE - In this photo taken from video provided by the Moscow City Court, Ivan Safronov, an adviser to the director of Russia's space agency, right, stands in court prior to a hearing in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Sept. 5, 2022. Safronov, a former military affairs journalist, was convicted of treason and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing military secrets to Czech intelligence and a German national, which he denied. The case has been widely viewed as retaliation for his reporting. (Moscow City Court via AP, File)

FILE - Ivan Safronov, an adviser to the director of Russia's space agency, stands in a defendant’s cage in a courtroom in Moscow, Russia, on July 16, 2020. Safronov, a former military affairs journalist, was convicted of treason and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing military secrets to Czech intelligence and a German national, which he denied. The case has been widely viewed as retaliation for his reporting. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - Ivan Safronov, an adviser to the director of Russia's space agency, stands in a defendant’s cage in a courtroom in Moscow, Russia, on July 16, 2020. Safronov, a former military affairs journalist, was convicted of treason and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Authorities accused him of passing military secrets to Czech intelligence and a German national, which he denied. The case has been widely viewed as retaliation for his reporting. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - Svetlana Davydova, a mother of seven who lives in the city of Vyazma in western Russia and was arrested in 2015 on treason charges and later released, arrives at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, March 13, 2015. Davydova was arrested after she contacted Ukraine's Embassy in Moscow in 2014, saying she thought Russian troops from a nearby base were heading to eastern Ukraine, where a separatist insurgency was unfolding. Russia at the time denied its troops involvement in eastern Ukraine, and the charges against Davydova were eventually dropped. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - Svetlana Davydova, a mother of seven who lives in the city of Vyazma in western Russia and was arrested in 2015 on treason charges and later released, arrives at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, March 13, 2015. Davydova was arrested after she contacted Ukraine's Embassy in Moscow in 2014, saying she thought Russian troops from a nearby base were heading to eastern Ukraine, where a separatist insurgency was unfolding. Russia at the time denied its troops involvement in eastern Ukraine, and the charges against Davydova were eventually dropped. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with the leadership of military-industrial complex enterprises in Tula, Russia, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022. Treason cases were rare in Russia 30 years ago, with only a handful brought annually. In the last decade and especially since the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine, however, the number has soared, along with espionage prosecutions. Putin in 2022 urged security services to "harshly suppress the actions of foreign intelligence services (and) promptly identify traitors, spies and saboteurs." (Russian Presidential Press Office, Sputnik Pool Photo via AP, File)

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with the leadership of military-industrial complex enterprises in Tula, Russia, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022. Treason cases were rare in Russia 30 years ago, with only a handful brought annually. In the last decade and especially since the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine, however, the number has soared, along with espionage prosecutions. Putin in 2022 urged security services to "harshly suppress the actions of foreign intelligence services (and) promptly identify traitors, spies and saboteurs." (Russian Presidential Press Office, Sputnik Pool Photo via AP, File)

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