US Soldier Detained In Russia Accused Of Criminal Misconduct

( U.S. soldier Gordon Black is being held in Russia for charges of criminal misconduct and has been accused of stealing from a woman. The sergeant’s deployment in South Korea ended and he decided to make a side trip to Vladivostok, Russia to meet a woman he has been dating. It is unknown whether the woman he allegedly stole from is the same woman he intended on visiting.

Black did not get authorization to visit Russia from his military supervisors. The United States advises citizens to avoid traveling to Russia due to the risk of being wrongfully detained. The advisory went into effect in September as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine.

Michael McCaul, a Representative from Texas and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told U.S. citizens to not travel to Russia. He indicated that President Vladamir Putin has a track record of falsely imprisoning U.S. citizens that travel to his country.

There have been multiple cases of U.S. citizens being wrongly detained in Russia, including a journalist and a former marine. WNBA basketball player Brittney Griner was also arrested in Russia for drug possession. She was in jail for 10 months until the Biden administration traded the imprisoned Russian Viktor Bout so that she could be released and return to the United States.

The U.S. claims that Russia wrongfully arrests American citizens to use them in negotiations. The District Court in Russia announced that Black would be held for a total of two months until he is released on July 2. A Russian spokesperson said the case is unrelated to espionage, but is a domestic crime against a Russian citizen.

The court records say Black has caused “significant damage” to the Russian citizen he allegedly stole from. There is a video of Black saying that he comprehends Russia’s decision and they want to protect their country. The video was taken sometime before Black was detained.

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