Ex-Russian naval officer accused of spying faces up to 20 years in prison
ST. PETERSBURG, April 13 (RAPSI) – Former Russian naval officer Vladislav Nikolsky faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly spying for Ukraine, RIA Novosti reported on Monday, citing a source familiar with the situation.
Investigators claim that Nikolsky, a former employee of the 51st Central Ship Repair Design and Technology Institute, provided Ukraine with technical documents for a Zubr-class air cushion landing craft that was created in the late 1970s, as well as a confidential register of the names of Soviet warships.
In 2012, charges were brought against Nikolsky, and also Vasily Cherny from the Morye Shipyard based in Feodosia (Crimea), and Vyacheslav Rodionov from the 51st Central Ship Repair Design and Technology Institute.
They were suspected of leaking information about the Zubr Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) to Ukraine, which has allegedly signed a contract to deliver Bizon LCACs, which are almost indistinguishable from the Zubr-class LCAC, to China.
Investigators claim that Rodionov delivered confidential information to Nikolsky, who digitized and stored it in two email inboxes, then sending the access code to his Ukrainian buyers in a text message. Nikolsky was allegedly paid $200,000 for the information.
In 2014, Rodionov was given a six-year suspended sentence and Cherny had died by that time. The hearing of Nikolsky’s case began at a St. Petersburg court in late 2014. He was charged with selling confidential information and treason, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. According to media reports, Nikolsky has pleaded not guilty.