Russian authorities have reportedly charged two officers in the Federal Security Service and an employee of cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab with committing treason in the interests of the United States.
Ivan Pavlov identified the three as Ruslan Stoyanov, head of Kaspersky's computer incidents investigation team, and two officers working for the FSB's Information Security Centre, Sergei Mikhailov and Dmitry Dokuchayev. "My client, along with the others, has been charged with state treason and cooperating with US intelligence services," Pavlov, who represents a fourth suspect, said.
Mikhailov, head of cyber security at the FSB, was reportedly detained in December, with officers grabbing him and putting a bag over his head before taking him away. The arrests were made at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow after US intelligence officials accused Russian hackers of sabotaging last year's US election.
Meanwhile, spies and civil servants who leak national security secrets face up to 14 years in jail, in a major overhaul of Britain's Official Secrets Act in the face of the growing threat from Russia.
Foreign spies who steal information from the Government and leak it overseas, or those who snoop on British embassies, will also face prosecution in British courts for the first time, under plans to be considered by ministers. Under the proposals officials who leak "sensitive information" about the British economy that damages national security could also be jailed.