April 21, 2020
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
President of the Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 9102134
Dear President Putin:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to express our concern over the recent arrest of Professor Valeriy Golubkin on charges of treason for allegedly sharing classified information with a correspondent in an undisclosed NATO country. These charges could result in a prison term from 12 to 20 years.
Valeriy Golubkin is a professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. He was arrested on April 13, 2021 and is to be detained until June 12, 2021, at least. As confirmed by his employer, Prof. Golubkin had no access to classified information. He maintains his innocence. As a teacher of aerodynamics, the topics he would discuss in his classes, while related to defense and civilian research and technology, would be covered by textbooks and other open sources. The accusations appear to be an example of a recurring pattern of charges leveled against elderly Russian scientists, particularly Prof. Golubkin’s colleague and collaborator Dr. Anatoly Gubanov, without any legitimate explanation as part of increased tensions with other countries and concern about leaks of information related to Russia’s military aviation and weapons technology.
We write to urge you to ensure that Prof. Golubkin is treated fairly, considering his declining health, particularly due to hypertension and recent history of cancer. He should not be subjected to intense interrogations. We further request that he be released from pretrial detention and that his trial be open to the public.
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter. We will be closely following developments in Prof. Golubkin’s case.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 1 (202)298-5700 I Fax: 1 (202)298-5735