Treasure hunt from St. Petersburg accused of illegally obtaining state secrets after the purchase of the old topographic maps

treasure hunter and member search groups Anton Kolomytsyna was accused of receiving information containing state secrets. The reason for the proceedings was the purchase of topographic maps of the General staff printed more than 50 years ago, according to “the Media”.

Petersburger Anton Colomycin before departure from Russia was a searcher and treasure hunter, and became famous after found pillboxes Dating back to the Soviet-Finnish war, with high levels of radiation. In may 2018 Colomycin bought for 9 thousand rubles a disk with topographic maps of the General staff of the 1960-1970-ies. The seller was an employee of the St. Petersburg branch of the “Center of geodesy” Mr Grabowski. It turned out that these cards are still considered secret.

27 September of the same year home to Kolomytsyna came to the FSB. Among other things, he gave them this disc. According to the St. Petersburg, shortly before someone hacked his mail: that’s what the intelligence officers found out that he has secret files. “I’m with someone shared, someone shared with me, someone bought them. Said, “we came for these cards, now this was a secret, and we travel throughout the country to collect them”,” adds Colomycin. At that time, the treasure hunters said that no claims against him, but warned him and took an explanation from him.

After nearly a year and a half, 21 January 2020, the FSB officers again came home to Colomycin and conducted his search, taking the remaining cards, all storage media and computers. This time the treasure hunt was charged under article 283.1 (illegal obtaining of information constituting a state secret). The maximum term for the first part of this article is to four years in prison.

the Search engine said that developing the seller’s cards, employee of the “Center of geodesy” Grabowski. In the resolution on initiation of proceedings, dated 21 January 2020, he is listed as unidentified employee isnd state organizations. Sam Grabowski refused to give “Mediazone”, in what status he is on the case and presented to him charges

After being charged Kolomytsyna was released on his own recognizance, and on the advice of a friend he left the country. “He told me that they are from all of you – with whom you shared who have bought – will make the group and then you will be absolutely other charges. Well, I said, “Run while you can”. So I ran,” – explains his decision Kolomitsyn, insisting that topographic maps may not provide any privacy, as the armies of the world do not use the data from them, preferring the satellite data. He is now in a refugee camp near Amsterdam and asked for political asylum in the Netherlands. The decision on this matter is still pending.

As explained by the head of the human rights organization “Team 29” Ivan Pavlov, specific information declared secret, or the scale of the maps contained in the secret decrees. “People are not being admitted to the state secret, can never know what is secret, what is the scale of the maps is secret because it is secret. Nonsense,” he explained.

According to Pavlov, the mapping information may be subject to certain conditions classified as a state secret, but foreign companies can custom make a satellite image of any area, regardless of whether there is secret items or not. The President of the St. Petersburg Association of geodesy and cartography Anatoly Bogdanov also said that the secrecy of the card is determined there is a corresponding marked “confidential”.

however, in 2015, dozens of media around the world published the scanned pieces of the secret Soviet maps of the Cold war era is detailed in the capitals of the West. As fromsword edition of Wired, on Soviet maps American and European cities were details which were not found in domestic maps, including road width, load capacity of bridges and types of businesses. It was reported that the US state Department, among other sources, using them to determine international boundaries on official maps.

In April 2018, the FSB operatives found in Sverdlovsk and Omsk regions and in the Crimea, a group of cartographers, who collected topographic maps of the General staff of the 1970-1980-ies. According to “Kommersant”, they have seized the cards, and tablets with their electronic versions, which, according to the FSB, was going to sell abroad. The secret service was limited to a warning to collectors, since they did not manage to sell the documents.

“Contact with the detainees failed. According to “Kommersant”, they all agreed that their actions can harm the security of the country, and promised that now are not even free to change maps with cartographers from other countries”, – wrote the newspaper. In the community of collectors of Yekaterinburg insisted that the work of cartographers could not harm Russia’s security.

In may 2012, a former officer of the General staff, Vladimir Lazar was sentenced to 12 years in a strict regime colony for the sale of topographic maps Russian Alexander Lesment living in Estonia. The court declared it treason (article 275 of the criminal code). According to investigators, Lesment cooperated with us intelligence and collected topographical material which subsequently passed Intelligence Agency U.S. Department of defense.

Experts at the request of the investigation has prepared a report, according to which topographic maps were state secrets, and transfer them to foreign intelligence “can cause significant damage to the external security of Russia, will allow to plan possible military action”.