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In Russia, hypersonic rivalry feeds suspicions and arrests

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Science  10 Jan 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6474, pp. 136
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6474.136

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Summary

As the hypersonic arms race revs up, international collaborations are crumbling—sometimes with dire consequences for researchers. Almost 10 years ago, Russian aerospace engineer Victor Kudryavtsev collaborated with Europe on Transhyberian, a €565,000 hypersonic project funded largely by the European Union. But in the summer of 2018, Russia's Federal Security Service arrested him and, several months later, a colleague, physicist Roman Kovalev. Both have been charged with high treason for allegedly leaking hypersonic secrets to "a NATO research center." If found guilty, they each face up to 20 years in prison. The charges dismay observers, who point out that a military review panel had approved the release of Russia's contribution to Transhyberian.

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