Ukraine War: U.S.-Russian Woman Detained by Russia on Treason Allegation

An individual holding citizenship in both the United States and Russia has been arrested in Russia on suspicion of committing treason and providing financial support to Ukraine’s military.

An unidentified woman from Los Angeles was collecting donations for a Ukrainian organisation that ultimately supported Kyiv’s armed forces, as reported by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

She faced allegations of participating in pro-Ukraine demonstrations in the US.

The individual, aged 33, was apprehended in Yekaterinburg.

The FSB reported that the woman had been gathering funds for the Ukrainian organisation since February 2022, coinciding with Russia’s full-scale military operation in the country.

The funds were later used to buy medical supplies, equipment, weapons, and ammunition for the Ukrainian army.

A video released by Russian state-owned media outlet RIA Novosti depicted a woman, with her face hidden by a hat and blurred, being accompanied by a uniformed officer.

She was observed being handcuffed and escorted into a car, then taken to a room that seemed to be a holding cell in a courtroom, from where she was later escorted out.

The FSB claimed that the woman was working against the security of their country and was supporting the Ukrainian army while in the US.

Last year in April, a decree was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to raise the maximum sentence for treason to life in jail, from 20 years, as part of a crackdown on dissent.

The woman was detained in Yekaterinburg, approximately 1,600km (1,000 miles) east of Moscow. This is the same city where US journalist Evan Gershkovich was arrested on charges of espionage on 29 March last year, according to the FSB.

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Mr Gershkovich, a seasoned Russia reporter, was employed by the Wall Street Journal at that time.

In January, Russia extended his pre-trial detention again, until the end of March. If proven guilty, he could potentially be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

The reporter has been labelled as “wrongfully detained” by the US government.

During an interview with US host Tucker Carlson last week, Mr Putin expressed his belief that a deal could be reached to free Mr Gershkovich.

There are a number of American citizens currently detained in Russia, among them is ex-marine Paul Whelan, who has been held in a Russian prison since 2018. He has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for espionage.

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