Computer science Repression

The supercomputer is captured by the FSB

The Russian Federation’s leading specialist in supercomputer systems was first checked by the FSB “for treason,” then kept under house arrest for six months on suspicion of “financing an extremist organization.” After fruitless attempts to plant according to the proven Soviet tradition, the “fool” is used. Sergei Abramov, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, founder of a number of innovative companies, is planned to be sent to a psychiatric hospital for three weeks on November 30 for “conducting a stationary examination.” Because the outpatient motivation of the scientist who organizes the supercomputer forum in Pereslavl-Zalessky, even while under investigation, the FSB was unable to understand for eight months.

The practice of punitive psychiatry in relation to disinterested public figures, whom the security forces cannot accuse of pragmatic actions in the interests of personal gain, has finally returned from the late Soviet “dissident” past. In October of this year, the prosecutor asked to order a psychiatric examination of Memorial co-chairman Oleg Orlov due to his “heightened sense of justice and complete lack of self-preservation instinct” .

Sergei Abramov, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and one of the leading experts on supercomputer systems, spent less than two months “free” after he was released from house arrest on October 10, 2023. On November 30the Leninsky District Court of Yaroslavl will consider a petition to place Abramov in a psychiatric hospital for at least three weeks for an examination. Olga Kozlova, press secretary of the Yaroslavl Regional Court, told T-invariant.

Sergei Abramov. Photo: Facebook

The consideration of this petition, according to Kozlova, will be held behind closed doors. Let us remind you that the scientist is accused of “financing an extremist organization” (committing a crime under Part 1 of Article 282.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and is currently under recognizance “on his own recognizance and proper behavior.”

As previously reported by T-invariant, events developed as follows: on April 10, Abramov had a night search, after which he spent more than a day in a pre-trial detention center and was then placed under house arrest on April 12, 2023. This is a unique criminal case, unusual even by current Russian standards and taking into account the cases three Siberian physicists from the same institute, arrested on suspicion of “treason.”

During these eight months, the investigation was unable to prove the crime, namely the fact that Abramov transferred a donation to an unnamed “extremist organization” (with reference to his sources Ъ wrote that this is the “Anti-Corruption Foundation”).

The FSB led Sergei Abramov to the arrest for a long time, checking him on suspicion of treason in 2010-2011 (at that time the nominal leader of the Russian Federation was Dmitry Medvedev).

“I was lucky that this happened in those vegetarian times, if it had happened later, we would not be talking to you now. In general, this is the fourth attempt to accuse me of something, and only this time they went so far,” Sergei Abramov told T-invariant.

And although formally Abramov is still “at large” (albeit under investigation), a new attack on a major academic leader this time achieved its goal. As Abramov himself told T-invariant, Rosfinmonitoring included him in the so-called “list of terrorists and extremists” back in April: all his personal accounts were blocked, and all accounts of 4 legal entities to which Abramov is related (he was or is a co-founder or co-owner). Two of the four companies: Immers LLC and Skirus LLC are engaged in supercomputer technologies (in the Russian Federation this there were literally several players in the market). And also two companies: Immers LLC and Chutkiy Dom LLC (residents of Skolkovo).

“I had to actively participate in three large supercomputer projects, the total funding of which is about 65 billion rubles. One project is purely Russian, one is joint between Russia and Belarus, and another is at the level of the EurAsEC countries. As a result, more than six months were lost, all projects are at a standstill, but in our topic, technologies double in size in six months,” Sergey Abramov told T-invariant.

“Crimea is ours” and the last supercomputer

The industry is truly in a deep crisis. A month after the initiation of a criminal case against Abramov, the founder and head of the second major player in the industry — General Director of the T-Platform company Vsevolod Opanasenko — found guilty of fraud. He had already served his sentence (he spent it partly under house arrest, partly in a pre-trial detention center) and therefore was released, although also rather formally. Opanasenko is also “on the hook” today. There are several defendants in his criminal case, and one of them filed an appeal, which has not yet been considered, so Opanasenko’s May sentence has not yet finally entered into force. And the T-Platform company itself does not actually function on the same scale.

The last supercomputer of the world top 500 level, according to Abramov, was made in the Russian Federation in 2014. For 9 years — not a single one.

“6 systems from the TOP-500 list over the years were simply purchased outside the Russian Federation: three by Yandex, two by Sber, one by MTS. Draw your own conclusions and think for yourself who benefits from my criminal case,” the defendant comments evasively.

Sergei Abramov. Photo: Facebook

The 66-year-old scientist still does not admit guilt. The authorities do not officially disclose the circumstances of this case, and Sergei Abramov says that he is “not too familiar with the details of his case.” He does not know who, how, when, or to which “extremist organization” made the payment from his bank account. At the same time,he is sure that his criminal case is a blow to the supercomputer industry of the Russian Federation, as well as evidence of a “huge systemic error” in governing the country.

“I know one thing clearly: this transfer was made from my account, I did not make this transfer, and the worst thing is that such a transfer was easy and even elementary to do for me. There are statistics from the Central Bank, I’ll show you the link now: every year in the Russian Federation about a million “operations without the client’s consent” are performed. I have no idea who did this and why: out of hostility towards me personally or out of motivation to eat up a piece of the market. It doesn’t matter.

My task is to say one thing: anyone can be in my place. Any citizen of Russia is under this threat. And as a cybernetician, I see that this is a system error.

A system that lives by such rules is unstable, such a system begins to eat itself,” explains Abramov.

November 28 – supercomputer forum, November 29 – press conference, November 30 – psychiatric hospital for 3 weeks

On November 28, the scientist will open the next annual National supercomputer forumin Pereslavl-Zalessky, and on November 29, at 11:00 Moscow time, will be held Skype press conference on the state of the supercomputer industry in the world and in Russia.” Then the scientist will probably face at least three weeks of imprisonment in a psychiatric hospital, since otherwise the FSB, in 8 months, could not understand the motivation for the actions of a person who has been trying for several decades to develop supercomputer computing in Russia, to build innovative telecom companies as a pioneer of the Runet, engage in education, science and high technology in the Yaroslavl region. According to current legislation, the FSB has the opportunity to extend the period of such a stationary examination.

“My teacher is Valentin Turchin, cyberneticist and dissident, chairman of the Moscow branch of Amnesty International. When he was followed Already under daily surveillance, he conducted his scientific seminarsin an ordinary Moscow apartment. And I remember, these two tramplers remained on the street, and we went upstairs, first practiced the Refal language, then served tea and more guys came: they told us who had left, who sat down, and who was already in a daze. For us, his “Refal Boys”, it was all part of our science.

Turchin created the internationally recognized theory of metasystem transitions. In short, it is about how the evolution of a variety of systems works. Theory has played and continues to play a very important role in computer science. But it also applies to the evolution of social systems. And he also had a job “Inertia of fear and totalitarianism”.

And in his opinion, the main crime that the totalitarian authorities of that time committed was that they killed evolution in these countries with surgical precision. Led them to stagnation.

I haven’t been crazy yet, but I hope that I can continue to analyze everything that’s happening to me and to the country from the point of view of my teacher’s theories,” concludes Abramov.

Valentin Turchin with his son. Photo: Wikipedia

“A heightened sense of justice and a complete absence of the instinct of self-preservation”

Russian security forces are increasingly recalling the Soviet practice of breaking their ideological enemies with the help of psychiatry. Let us recall thatin October 2023, the state prosecutor asked to appoint a psychiatric examination for the co-chairman of the Memorial Center for Human Rights, Oleg Orlov, who was accused of repeatedly discrediting the army for his anti-war post.

Prosecutor Svetlana Kildisheva stated that Orlov should be shown to a psychiatrist because of his “heightened sense of justice and complete lack of instinct of self-preservation” (hereinafter all quotes via Memorial’s telegram channel).

According to prosecutor Kildisheva, Orlov considers himself “either Georgiy Dimitrov, exposing fascism, or someone else going to Calvary.”

“Then, your honor, there’s age, changes in the blood vessels of the brain, the natural aging process. Orlov came out for the first time in 1980 with a poster against the war in Afghanistan. The second time was in 1984, supporting Polish Solidarity (Orlov did not come out with posters at that time, he put up leaflets — Memorial’s note),” the prosecutor said then.

Oleg Orlov. Photo: Memorial

Who is Sergei Abramov?

Sergey Abramov was born in Moscow, graduated from Moscow State University, but worked for many years in the ancient provincial Pereslavl. From 2003 to 2022, he was acting director and director, and at the time of his arrest remained the chief researcher at the A. K. Ailamazyan Institute of Software Systems of the Russian Academy of Sciences. For a long time, Abramov combined the leadership of the institute with the post of rector of the University of Pereslavl, created at the same institute. Now the university has ceased to exist.

Abramov is one of the leading experts on supercomputers in Russia, including the head of the relevant programs of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. In 2006, Sergei Abramov received the Russian Government Prize in the field of science and technology for the development of high-performance computing systems (supercomputers) of the Skif family. It can be argued that Abramov is the most titled scientist currently subjected to criminal External prosecution for political offenses.

Text: Evgeniy Nasyrov


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