MOSCOW, February 6 - RAPSI. The Russian Supreme Court has upheld the ruling against two professors from the Baltic State Technical University (Voenmekh) who were sentenced to 12.5 and 12 years respectively for passing classified information about the Bulava missile to Chinese secret services, the Prosecutor General's Office reported on Tuesday.

The St. Petersburg City Court sentenced Voenmekh professors Yevgeny Afanasyev and Svyatoslav Bobyshev in the summer of 2012. According to  investigators, the two scholars provided Chinese military intelligence service with state secrets while on a business trip to China in 2009. The information included the specifications of the Bulava sea-based ballistic missile and could be used to track Russian submarines.

"The Supreme Court's board on criminal cases has not upheld the convicts' complaint and has left the lower court's sentence unchanged.

Russian legislators have taken a tougher stance on the divulgement of state secrets in recent months. A law was passed last year expanding the scope and reach of the crimes of espionage and treason. The article on treason targets Russian citizens that provide assistance in support of foreign interests, to the detriment of Russia’s interests. The new amendments retain the preexisting sentencing structure of 12-20 years.

The Bulava (Russian for mace) is a submarine-launched ballistic missile which carries up to 10 MIRV warheads, has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) and is designed for deployment on Borey-class nuclear submarines.

Although only 11 of 18 or 19 test launches of the troubled Bulava have been officially declared successful, it has de facto entered service, according to the Navy.