U.S. soldier detained in Russia, officials say | WORLD
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U.S. soldier detained in Russia, officials say

A bridge connecting the Russky Island and Vladivostok in Eastern Russia. Associated Press/Photo by Alexander Khitrov, file

U.S. soldier detained in Russia, officials say

Russian authorities have detained a U.S. Army soldier on charges of criminal misconduct, U.S. Army spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith confirmed to WORLD on Monday. Russian authorities notified the State Department, per the requirements of international law, that they had detained the soldier after his arrest last week. The State Department has been providing him consular services, according to the Army.

Are other government agencies or officials confirming this? The U.S. State Department on Monday confirmed to WORLD that it was providing consular services to an American citizen detained in Russia. It did not confirm that the individual was a soldier. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also issued a statement about the soldier’s detention, saying it was not safe for U.S. citizens to travel to Russia.

Aren’t there other U.S. citizens in Russia right now? A former U.S. Marine, Paul Whelan, is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence in Russia on charges of espionage. Whelan denies those charges. Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been imprisoned in Russia for more than a year, ever since Russian authorities took him into custody for allegedly engaging in espionage-related activities. Gershkovich also denies those allegations. U.S. officials secured the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who spent almost a year imprisoned in Russia after authorities arrested her for drug possession.

Dig deeper: Read Rebeccah L. Heinrichs’ column in WORLD Opinions about the recent U.S.-Russia prisoner swap of Griner for Russian weapons trafficker Viktor Bout.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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