Igor Sutyagin in the 1990s
|Born||17 January 1965|
|Occupation||Arms control and nuclear weapons specialist|
Igor Vyacheslavovich Sutyagin (Russian: Игорь Сутягин; born 17 January 1965) is a Russian arms control and nuclear weapons specialist and an alleged spy for the Defense Intelligence Agency. In 1998 he became the head of the subdivision for Military-Technical and Military-Economic Policy at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, where he worked before he was arrested for treason, although he supposedly did not have access to classified documentation as a civilian researcher.
As of 2014, Igor Sutyagin is a Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London.
Background and trial
With a degree in physics as well as history, Sutyagin worked on topics relating to U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons development, deployment and control and he is a co-author of a well-respected book on the Russian strategic nuclear forces. 
In October 1999, the Russian Federal Security Service detained Sutyagin and brought against him charges of espionage. They alleged that Sutyagin passed classified information to a London-based firm, Alternative Futures. Sutyagin acknowledged working with the company, but he said that all information about atomic submarines he disclosed was based on material in the open literature, and without a security clearance he never had access to classified sources.
In 2004, after a trial, a jury in Moscow unanimously found Sutyagin guilty in espionage. The jury found it proven that Sutyagin disclosed a secret information to the Defense Intelligence Agency officers Shaun Kidd and Nadya Lokk, and was paid for this. The court sentenced him to 15 years of imprisonment. In December 2005 Sutyagin was transferred to a penal colony in Kholmogory near Arkhangelsk.
Russian journalist Yulia Latynina argued that although communications of Sutyagin with foreign spy agencies have never been proven, he passed open source information to suspicious foreigners, which must be punished. She said that even providing information about temperature in Moscow to foreign intelligence would represent a high treason. In reply, lawyer Boris Kuznetsov, who represented Sutyagin previously, hinted that the Russian secret service FSB benefited from her program in Echo of Moscow,  which she vigorously denied.
Sutyagin's case was listed as a political prisoner by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Human Rights Watch stated that "the FSB showed little respect for Sutiagin’s right to a fair trial: the charges against him were vaguely worded; his assertion that he only used open sources were never verified; investigators based the charges on secret decrees that Sutiagin was not allowed to see; the FSB violated numerous rules of criminal procedure; and officials publicly denounced Sutiagin as a spy prior to and during his trial. Human rights activists argued that he had no access to secrets and had been working openly with academics.
US-Russia spy swap
On 9 July 2010, Sutyagin was swapped by Russia for the release of 10 people arrested in the United States of spying for Russia. He had always maintained his innocence but agreed to sign an admission of guilt as part of the deal. Sutyagin reports that he had been asked to sign a pardon request falsely admitting guilt as early as 2005. The US State Department does not consider Sutyagin to be a spy.
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- Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies - RUSI
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- This web page was removed. Russian strategic nuclear forces
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- ECtHR judgment on application No. 30024/02