A Moscow court on Monday jailed respected former defence reporter Ivan Safronov for 22 years on treason charges for divulging state secrets.

The judge said Safronov will serve the time in a “strict regime penal colony,” AFP reported from court.

The 32-year-old worked for business newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti and was one of Russia’s most respected journalists covering defence.

Safronov appeared in court on Monday inside a glass cage for defendants wearing a grey tracksuit and black puffy vest, his hands in handcuffs.

Around a hundred people gathered in the Moscow courthouse for the verdict, applauding Safronov and chanting “Freedom!” after the sentence was read out.

Safronov smiled and shouted out “I love you!” before he was taken out of the court room, an AFP reporter saw.


Safronov reported on the military, politics and Russia’s space programme.

He was arrested in July 2020, after leaving journalism to serve as an adviser to the head of the state space agency.

The FSB security service has accused Safronov of collecting confidential information about Russian military, defence and security and handing it over to the intelligence service of a NATO member country.

At the start of his trial in April, Safronov called the case a “complete travesty of justice” and said he was not guilty.


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