Germany Sues Russian for Passing on Information About European Missile

German prosecutors are prosecuting a Russian scientist for passing information about European launchers to a Russian intelligence agency.


The service was interested in the Ariane rockets used by the European Space Agency (ESA). However, it is unclear how the man came to this information or his involvement with Ariane.

Ilnoer N. worked as a research assistant at a university in Bavaria. According to the German justice, in the fall of 2019, the Russian foreign intelligence service SVR made contact with the scientist. He subsequently had several meetings with employees of the organization. As a result, N. was arrested last June on suspicion of espionage.

According to the German prosecutor, Russian intelligence wanted to learn more about the development phases of the Ariane launcher and about the investigation of the man. For his cooperation, the suspect received 2500 euros.

The Ariane is a family of rockets developed by the ArianeGroup company. The ESA deploys the Ariane 5 rocket for launches. The next generation, Ariane 6, should make its first flight in the first quarter of this year.

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