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Plugging The Leak At Plesetsk
by James Dunnigan
March 3, 2012

Russia recently announced that a Russian space technology engineer had been convicted of espionage and sentenced to 13 years in prison. The engineer was accused of passing on unspecified data to the American CIA in return for an unspecified amount of cash. The engineer, Vladimir Nesterets, worked at the Plesetsk missile test site. This is where all sorts of missiles are tested and the results monitored by people like Nesterets. It's not just the rockets that are tested but new payloads as well, including "penetration aids" (decoy warheads to confuse anti-missile systems). It's possible that Nesterets could have turned over large quantities of new Russian technology and information on just what shape Russia's current ballistic missiles are in.

If Nesterets was working for the CIA, he now goes on a list of people the U.S. will trade in return for Russian spies captured in the United States. That happens frequently and is one of the fringe benefits of being a spy. If you get caught your employer does have a way to eventually get you out of prison and home.

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