Senior Russian computer scientist put under house arrest for giving money to Navalny
The Russian court placed Sergey Abramov, computer scientist and corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, under house arrest for “financing an extremist organisation”. Dr Abramov faces up to 8 years in prison.
According to RFE/RL, the list of supporters of the Alexei Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation featured the 66-year-old scientist’s name. In 2021, Russian courts designated this organisation as extremist and banned it.
For 19 years, Sergey Abramov headed the Ailamazyan Program Systems Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and supervised the development of supercomputers. According to 76.ru, the scientist was also a co-founder of technology companies that served the same institute where he worked and won government contracts worth more than 86 million rubles.
Although this is the first time that a scientist of such a high calibre has been prosecuted for supporting Navalny, the police had earlier put the physicist Andrey Zayakin on the wanted list on the same charge. He managed to leave Russia.
Elia Kabanov is a science writer covering the past, present and future of technology (@metkere)
Illustration: Elia Kabanov feat. MidJourney.