Arrested for theft, American soldier taken into custody

The accused soldier had been deployed to South Korea recently.

IMAGO/Penta Press

The American soldier arrested last week in the Russian Far East was arrested for “theft” and is being detained until July 2, the Vladivostok court in charge of the case announced Tuesday.

“The Pervomaiskyi district court in Vladivostok arrested American soldier Gordon Black until July 2, under the article for ‘theft’,” said its spokesperson, Elena Oleneva, quoted by the news agency. press Ria Novosti. He faces up to five years in prison, according to the Russian penal code.

This case is not linked to politics or espionage

A representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry

The Telegram news channel Baza, reputed to be close to the police, as well as the daily Izvestia explained that the American soldier would have visited his Russian girlfriend in Vladivostok, before “beating her” and “stealing 200 ‘000 rubles (editor’s note: around 2000 francs) and alcohol.

“This case is not linked to politics or espionage,” assured Tuesday the representation of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Vladivostok.

Few details provided

On Monday, a spokesperson for the US Army, Cynthia Smith, said that the soldier, deployed in South Korea according to American media, had been arrested “on the basis of criminal charges”, without however being able to “provide further details at this time”. The White House indicated that it was “aware” of the situation.

In recent years, several American citizens have been arrested and given long sentences in Russia. Washington, which has supported Ukraine militarily and financially against the Russian army for more than two years, accuses Moscow of wanting to exchange them for Russians detained in the United States.

Journalist faces 20 years in prison

Reporter for the “Wall Street Journal”, Evan Gershkovich, who also worked for the AFP in Moscow in the past, was arrested by the Russian security services (FSB) during a report in Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, in March 2023.

He is accused of espionage, a crime punishable by 20 years in prison, a sentence of unprecedented severity since the end of the USSR for a foreign journalist. He rejects these accusations, as do the United States, his newspaper, his loved ones and his family.

Alsu Kurmasheva in detention since October


Russia has never substantiated its accusations or publicly provided evidence. The entire procedure was classified secret.

A Russian-American journalist, Alsu Kurmasheva, working for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), has been in detention since October 2023 for not having registered as a “foreign agent” as ‘demand the Russian authorities.




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