Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has reportedly launched an all-out search for a mole who leaked top secret files on the cutting-edge hypersonic weapon systems to Western intelligence, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported on July 20 citing intelligence sources.
Earlier on July 20, FSB operatives searched the quarters the Central Research Institute of Machine Building (TSNIIMASH) and the United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC). TSNIIMASH and the URSC are a part of Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, which was involved in the development of hypersonic weapons.
According to the report, dozens of employees in the Russian missile industry came under intense scrutiny. The July 20 developments are reportedly ongoing in the framework of a recent investigation into the leaking of secret files to foreign intelligence services.
According to Kommersant’s source familiar with the FSB investigation, “it was established that the leak came from TSNIIMASH employees who were in touch with [the head of the URSC’s research facility Dmitry] Paison.” The source described the inquiry as “unprecedented.”
“Many heads will roll, it won’t be limited to people being dismissed,” the source said.
The FSB conducted a search in Paison’s office.
Separately, a Roscosmos spokesman confirmed that FSB searches took place. He added that the head of the corporation directed the agency’s security division to offer “maximum support to the investigation.”
Some sources speculate that this incident could be a media provocation similar to those used by the USSR in 1980s.