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FSB accuses anti-war and pro-Navalny scientist of treason

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has brought treason charges against Russian geodesy scientist Valery Kachin from the Jewish Autonomous Region. He was detained and arrested the day before, on December 8, TASS reports.

Kachin, 35, is a junior researcher at the Bastak Nature Reserve and was involved in studying geoinformation systems; before that he worked at the mayor's office in Birobidzhan, the Beware the News Telegram channel reports. Information about his work in the reserve was confirmed by TV Rain.

What exactly he is charged with is unknown. Kachin was transported from Birobidzhan to the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center in Moscow. The investigators asked the court to extend his term of custody until March 12. The FSB has classified the case materials.

Deputy Director of the Reserve Sergei Krivosheev told TV Rain that the arrest was not related to Kachin's work: “He did work in the reserve, but not in my department. They sent me [the information on] the criminal case, I found out about it just two days ago. I think the criminal case has nothing to do with his work in the reserve.”

On social media Kachin spoke against the war in Ukraine, supported Alexei Navalny and the protests in Belarus.

This is not the first case of a Russian scientist being accused of state treason. Dmitry Kolker, 54, head of the laboratory of quantum optical technologies at the NSU Physics Department in Novosibirsk, was detained in July. He was taken straight from the Novosibirsk hospital, despite the terminal stage of cancer he was suffering from, put on a plane, brought to Moscow and placed in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center. Kolker died in detention, and the Russian Investigative Committee found no evidence of a crime in the scientist's death.

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