Dr. Alexander Leonidovich Kuranov, a prominent researcher in the field of hypersonic aircraft has been arrested and charged with treason. This has happened numerous times in the past few years in Russia in regard to those working in this field of study. There, has as yet, been no signs of treason.
August 25, 2021
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
President of the Russian Federation
23 Ilyinka Street
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.
This communication is regarding the case of Alexander Leonidovich Kuranov. Dr. Kuranov is a prominent researcher on the topic of hypersonic aircraft. He is the general director and chief designer of the Hypersonic Systems Research Institute.
On August 12th, a court ordered his arrest on charges of state treason and placed him in detention until October 9th. He is accused of passing secret information regarding his research to a foreign citizen.
In the past several years, other hypersonic scientists have been imprisoned on similarly murky accusations of high treason. We are concerned that this is a recurring pattern and that Dr. Kuranov has been targeted for his collaborations with other countries. As scientists, we know that international research collaborations are not uncommon and are not signs of treason or wrongdoing. They are also likely to be beneficial to Russian technology.
We write to urge you to ensure that Dr. Kuranov is treated fairly and that legal proceedings held in his case meet international standards for fair trials.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. The Committee will be closely following any developments in this case.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Antony J. Blinken
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