MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti)
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has initiated a criminal case against an ex-serviceman accused of selling classified topographic maps of Russia to the U.S. Defense Department.
The documents charge Vladimir Lazar, a former serviceman with the Topographic Service of Russia’s Armed Forces, with transferring secret data to a former fellow student, Alexander Lesment, who had been actively collaborating with U.S. intelligence since 1994, Prosecutor General's Office spokesperson Marina Gridneva said.
In 2008, Lazar, acting on instructions from Lesment, bought optical discs containing more than 7,000 images of topographic maps of Russia from a collector. Later, he digitalized the data and sold it in Belarus through an intermediary.
The transfer of this information could cause serious harm to Russia’s security, Gridneva said.
“According to U.S. Defense Department experts, the topographic maps contain data that include state secrets,” she said.
Lesment and Lazar studied together in Leningrad Higher Military Topographic Command School in 1975-1979. Since the mid-1990s Lesment has lived in Estonia, Gridneva said.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Siberian Air Base Gets New Su-30SM Fighter Jets
Infographics: First Russian Smartphone
New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.