Russia’s main security agency detained an aide to a Kremlin-appointed envoy on treason charges, in what appeared to the first such case targeting a government official since the Soviet collapse.
In a statement on July 5, the Federal Security Service (FSB) identified the man only as Alexander Vorobyov.
The FSB gave no further details as to the alleged crime, saying only that treason charges carry punishment of up to 20 years in prison.
Russian news agencies said Vorobyov appeared in a Moscow court July 5, where he told the court that he worked as an assistant to the Kremlin-appointed envoy to the central Urals region.
Vorobyov reportedly had worked for a year as an aide to Nikolai Tsukanov. Prior to that he had held jobs in the provincial government of the Kaliningrad region.
It wasn't immediately clear if Tsukanov had made any public comment on Vorobyov's detention.
While the FSB has opened treason investigations against scientists, law enforcement officials, and even its own officers in the past, the case against Vorobyov appeared to be the first time that a top government official had been targeted.