Saturday, May 20, 2023

American Journalism In The 21st Century - How Skilled Are You At Making Up Shit?

The photo they ran with–depicting Vitaly Klitchko inspecting the downed wreckage of a hypersonic missile–is quite misleading. Firstly, its from earlier in the month, not the recent attack on the Patriot missile battery.  Secondly, that's not Kinzhal wreckage… the Kinzhal is much larger and has different nose cone angles.

And while the article invites, indeed sets up the inference that the Russians have rounded these guys up because the missiles were shot down (even though they weren’t), buried in the article is a little problem with timing:

The Russian state media agency Tass reported on the arrests of Maslov and Shiplyuk last summer and on Zvegintsev’s this week. It said Zvegintsev was detained about three weeks ago and is under house arrest. NBC News could not verify those details.

NBCNews  |  The three scientists — Anatoly Maslov, Alexander Shiplyuk and Valery Zvegintsev — were employees of the Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. They were all detained on suspicion of high treason over the past year, according to the letter published on the institute’s website. 

The letter professes the men’s innocence and praises their academic achievements, adding that all three chose to stay in Russia rather than accept highly paid and prestigious work abroad. 

“We know each of them as a patriot and a decent person who is not capable of doing what the investigating authorities suspect them of,” it said. 

It is rare and risky in modern Russia to speak out in defense of people charged with treason, especially after a bill was adopted last month increasing the maximum sentence for the crime to life in jail. 

The Russian state media agency Tass reported on the arrests of Maslov and Shiplyuk last summer and on Zvegintsev’s this week. It said Zvegintsev was detained about three weeks ago and is under house arrest. NBC News could not verify those details. 

Shiplyuk was in charge of the laboratory of hypersonic technologies at the institute, which has “unique hypersonic aerodynamic installations designed to study the fundamental and applied problems of hypersonic flight,” according to his bio on the website. Maslov is a renowned expert in the field of aerogasdynamics, it said

The institute released an open letter in support of Maslov after he was arrested in June for what it said was “high treason,” saying his colleagues were “shocked” by his detention. It was also raising money on behalf of the families of Maslov and Shiplyuk to cover their legal expenses. 

Tass reported this week that the materials in Maslov’s case are classified and have been handed over to a judge in a St. Petersburg court. The agency said Maslov’s case was investigated by the FSB, Russia’s secret service. 

While the details of their cases have not been made public, the open letter by their colleagues said the three men could have been arrested for simply doing their jobs, including making presentations at global conferences and taking part in international scientific projects. Their work was also repeatedly checked by the institute’s expert commission to ensure it did not include “restricted information,” the letter said.

“In this situation, we are not only afraid for the fate of our colleagues. We just do not understand how to continue to do our job,” it added, raising concerns about “a rapid decline in the level of research” if employees are too afraid to do their work.


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