A Russian court has ordered for the arrest of Dmitry Fedotkin, who is Aeroflot’s station manager in London. He’s being charged with treason, as the claim is that he shared secrets with British intelligence services.
Fedotkin has been employed by Aeroflot for nearly 17 years, and he has spent the last eight of those years in the UK (prior to that he was in Cyprus for nearly five years).
Fedotkin has been placed in pre-trial detention until early 2021. He could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty, though he maintains his innocence.
According to Russian media:
“Fedotkin is suspected of passing secrets about Russia’s social and political situation to the British intelligence services.
At the same time, he did not have access to state secrets due to the nature of his activities.”
A representative for Aeroflot says the company was unaware of the situation. It’s also reported that Russian security services carried out searches of Aeroflot’s offices in Moscow on Wednesday (which may or may not have been related).
It’s not entirely clear what secrets Fedotkin allegedly disclosed, and how he would have known these secrets. Was he disclosing information related to his job (like who was traveling and when?), or were his actions unrelated to the airline, and more focused on him being a Russian living in the UK?
Either way, he’s certainly not the first (or last) Russian national to be charged with treason…
Aeroflot’s manager in London is being accused of treason by Russia, for allegedly sharing social and political secrets with British intelligence services. It goes without saying that there are lots more questions than answers here, though this sure is something you don’t hear everyday.