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Russian Arctic Academy president accused of working for Chinese intelligence

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 1, 2017: A Russian Investigative Committee (SK) vehicle outside the Moscow Regional Court where a gunfight broke out during a hearing into the "Grand Theft Auto gang" case. Five members of the gang, suspected of killing more than a dozen of motorists, grabbed firearms from security officers. Three members of the gang were killed, two injured in the gunfight. Alexander Shcherbak/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Jun 15, 2020, TASS. Valery Mitko, 78, President of the St. Petersburg Arctic Social Sciences Academy, was charged with treason, his lawyer Ivan Pavlov told TASS Monday.

“According to the investigation, during his trip to China, Mitko handed over classified materials to the Chinese intelligence. After his return to Russia, a search took place in his apartment; he was charged with [treason],” the lawyer said.

Mitko denies allegations, he added.

“The court has put him under house arrest at his apartment in the Leningrad Region. I have already appealed against this ruling,” Pavlov said, without providing further details.

According to a TASS source familiar with the case, the investigation believes that Mitko gave China information on research on hydro acoustics and submarine detection methods.

Mitko is a Doctor of technical sciences, a corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Engineering, a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, member and the president of the Arctic Social Sciences Academy.

During his academic activity, he was awarded with 24 medals, including two silver Kapitsa medals for scientific achievements, the Vernadsky medal, the Government of Yakutia medal, and the Government of St. Petersburg medal. He authored and co-authored over 400 scientific papers, known in Russia and beyond; he is also the author of two textbooks.

Mitko has a 3rd degree disability.

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