A U.S. state court has sentenced Oleg Tishchenko, a Russian video game developer, to one year and one day in prison. Tishchenko, who was found to have purchased manuals for F-16, F-35, and other fighter jets through online auctions, has already spent more than a year in American jails and will therefore be released for deportation to Russia on June 19.
Tishchenko is an employee of the Russian company Eagle Dynamics, which is best known for its recreational flight simulators. He posted on Internet forums for fans of the company’s games asking U.S. residents to help him purchase flight manuals and other documents about U.S. military jets for the purpose of developing better simulations for those models. A 60-year-old Texas resident, Kenneth Sullivan, agreed to ship the manuals to Tishchenko, who later resold the documents to other Internet users. Both went afoul of the Arms Export Control Act, but Sullivan’s charges were dropped after a court agreement. Meduza reported on Tishchenko’s case and interviewed his relatives and coworkers in May 2019.