January 03, 2024

Student Sentenced for Spying


Student Sentenced for Spying
Notebook, book, and pen. Snufkin, StockSnap.io

On December 30, for the first time, Russia convicted a student for spying. An 18-year-old academic prodigy was accused of photographing the armed forces and sending his pictures to representatives of foreign states.

Kevin Lik stood out for his collection of academic medals. The Maykop native was a four-time winner of the local German Language Olympics and also won history and Eurasian linguistics competitions. In 2022, Lik completed a biology summer school and decorated his VKontakte with pictures of flowers and plants from the Caucasic mountains. A friend of Lik's told the BBC that the academic prodigy's mother had sent him to Moscow for a better education in 2022. 

The court's verdict said that Lik was against the invasion of Ukraine, and that, from December 23, 2021, until the date of his arrest, February 8, 2023, he observed and photographed military units in Maykop. Then he allegedly sent the images to a representative of a foreign state. It is not specified to whom or to which state these images were sent. Lik was in the ninth grade when the alleged spying took place.

The day after Lik was arrested, the Ministry of Internal Affairs opened a case against his mother for "petty hooliganism," after she allegedly swore in a public place. She was sentenced to 10 days in prison.

According to Meduza and the human rights organization Pervy Otdel (First Department), in 2023, 101 persons were charged with "treason" and "espionage" – the highest number recorded in years.

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