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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Military Officer Convicted of Espionage

A military officer was convicted of espionage on Monday, and Interfax reported that he was charged after being detained while trying to pass classified information to American intelligence agents.

In a closed trial, the Moscow district military court sentenced Colonel Alexander Sypachev to eight years in a maximum-security labor camp and stripped him of his rank, the military prosecutor's office said in a statement.

According to Interfax, Moscow district military court official Yevgeny Komissarov said Sypachev, a Russian intelligence agent, offered his services to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in February.

Sypachev met in March with representatives of a U.S. intelligence service, who told him what information they would like to obtain, and he wrote a two-page report about Russian intelligence personnel and other classified information, Interfax quoted Kommissarov as saying.

The court verdict says Sypachev was detained by the Federal Security Service on April 4 after placing an envelope containing the report in a secret location, Interfax reported.

Kommissarov said Sypachev pleaded guilty and cooperated with investigators, and that his guilt was established by his own testimony and other evidence.

The military prosecutor's office declined to comment on the details of the case. U.S. Embassy officials could not immediately be reached for comment.