Friday, February 4, 2011

Imprisonment term for a Russian who spied for China was reduced

A sentence of Russian citizen Alexander Yermakov convicted of espionage for China against Ukraine was revised, reports Segodnya

Crimean court sentenced Yermakov to 8-year imprisonment in July 2010. That decision has been recently revised by Supreme Court of Ukraine. Now imprisonment term for Yermakov is reduced down to six years. 

According to Ukrainian Security Service, the Russian was about to hand over secret documentation on ground-based aviation simulator system (also known as NITKA) to China. This system built in Crimea in Soviet time is designed for practicing of deck takeoffs and landings (aircraft carrier deck is imitated by a special runway). NITKA is used for training of Russian naval pilots (Ukraine does not have own deck-based aviation). 

As was said by a Ukrainian security officer, Chinese clients offered Yermakov a $1 mln for documentation ofNITKA system. His father, Gennady Yermakov was also involved in espionage activities. 

To gain access to the secret documents, Gennady Yermakov made contact with an officer serving at NITKAsystem. However, the officer reported to Ukrainian counterintelligence authority. Finally, Alexander Yermakov was arrested while handing over documents (controlled by security service). His father, Gennady Yermakov managed to escape. 

The officer who informed security authorities about espionage activities was rewarded by Ukrainian defense ministry and continued service at NITKA

Ukrainian Security Service has investigated many cases related with espionage for China. For instance, in mid-1990's a group of Chinese citizens was caught in an attempt to acquire secret information associated with Yuzhmash (a company specialized in production of space equipment). Early in 2010 three Ukrainians were sentenced to different terms of imprisonment for collection of military technical information for China (reportedly, they also tried to acquire NITKA-related data). Later on, in July 2010 Ukrainian court sentenced a Chinese officer to imprisonment (as for Epoch Times, he had arrived to Ukraine to study refresher course and was caught in acquiring of secret information). After adjudgement, he was deported to China.
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