Moscow – A public relations adviser to the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos has been detained on suspicion of treason, the Russian news agency Interfax reported on Tuesday.
“Ivan Safronov, a former journalist at the prominent Russian newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti, had become the information policy adviser to Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin just two months ago.
“The case could be connected with his previous journalism work and publications about the military,’’ the report said.
Roscosmos said the case was not related to Safronov’s position at the space agency.
Treason is punishable in Russia by up to 20 years in prison.
Safronov was forced to leave the Kommersant newspaper 2019 after authoring an article that claimed the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, would soon leave her post for a sort of pre-retirement job as the head of Russia’s pension fund.
Eleven other journalists left the newspaper at that time as a protest in solidarity with Safronov and Editor Maxim Ivanov, who had also been dismissed.
Report says Matviyenko remains the upper house’s speaker.