Russia Accuses Aeroflot Manager Of Treason

Filed Under: Aeroflot

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the US arrested several Aeroflot employees for smuggling electronics, and now Russia has arrested an Aeroflot employee for… treason?!

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…

Bottom line

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.

Comments
  1. @Bill

    Which aircraft ? Any new features ? Because I saw the business class seats on a newly delivered 788 but they are just the aerospace diamond seats that are already on the 789.

  2. I’m just trying to figure out how a station manager had access to Russian state secrets. Unless he is only the courier, which is digital agent, is no longer needed.

  3. There could be sensitive information about specific passengers that is present in Aeroflot’s system to make sure the passenger gets specific considerations (a list of ‘never IDB this person’ flagged passengers could be of interest) but definitely not supposed to passed along to border control services

  4. …he was probably scooped up for sharing soft intel on persons of interest. The intel in turn is used to coerce the person of interest. SOP for intelligence services.

    “Was the target traveling alone or was there someone else on the reservation?” Man, woman…is target having an affair? Is the target traveling with a younger man to exotic locales”. The list goes on… I’m just scratching the surface here.

  5. What is with the first three comments on this topic, are they pro Russian intelligence and trying to sabotage this topic, LOL!
    This dude has to be careful what he drinks or eat right now, you do not know where it ends..

  6. So if he had access to the diplomatic names of those who travel under no name tickets into and out of the UK. They present a passport that has diplomatic immunity, and go. These “Special” passengers might also be the same ones who provided special tea to people of interest, that later ended up strangely dead. Just saying that if the agents who came to execute the special tasks flew in on Aeroflot then his direct knowledge shared to MI-5/6 might prove especially enlightening.

  7. If the British security services wanted access to passenger lists there are far easier ways to get them than recruiting the station manager as an agent.

    Airlines have to transmit passenger data to the Home Office as part of regular immigration processes on who is leaving the country.

    MI5 comes under the Home Office. As does UK Border Force as does Special Branch (Counter Terrorism Command) all of which operate at Heathrow.

    It would be pretty easy to intercept airport IT systems. Passenger manifests just get put in the bin instead of shreaded etc etc

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