- The Washington Times - Friday, July 5, 2019

Alexander Vorobyov, an aide to an assistant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was hauled into a Moscow court Friday and ordered detained on suspicion of committing high treason.

A judge at Lefortovsky District Court agreed to keep Mr. Vorobyov jailed for the next two months while under investigation, attendees reported.

The Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB, announced the case against Mr. Vorobyov earlier Friday in a vague news release that said he had been arrested Thursday and charged with high treason.

Clad in a camouflaged mask, Mr. Vorobyov subsequently identified himself in court as an assistant to Nikolai Tsukanov, Mr. Putin’s presidential envoy to the Urals Federal District, the privately-owned news outlet Interfax reported.

A profile appearing on an official Russian government website describes Mr. Vorobyov, 39, as Mr. Tsukanov’s chief of staff since 2018. He received a letter of thanks from Mr. Putin that same year, according to the profile.

Mr. Vorobyov’s arrest marks the first publicly known case of a Russian government official being arrested on suspicion of high treason since the Soviet Union’s collapse, The Associated Press reported.

He faces between 12 and 20 years in prison if found guilty, The Moscow Times reported.

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