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Trial of Russian American Dual Citizen Accused of Treason Begins Amidst Rising Tensions

The trial of Ksenia Karelina, a Russian American dual citizen accused of treason, commenced on Thursday in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The closed-door trial comes at a time of escalating tensions between the United States and Russia, further exacerbated by the recent arrests of two American journalists. Notably, the same court is set to hear the case of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter charged with espionage, next week.

Karelina, a resident of Los Angeles, was apprehended in February while visiting her family in Yekaterinburg. Russian authorities have identified her as the defendant, although U.S. media often refer to her by her ex-husband’s surname, Khavana. Born in Yekaterinburg, Karelina is accused by Russia’s Federal Security Service of raising funds for a Ukrainian organization involved in supplying weapons, ammunition, and other resources to the Ukrainian military. According to reports, her boyfriend has claimed that she made a single donation of approximately $50 to a Ukrainian organization.

If convicted, Karelina could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. It is worth noting that the majority of criminal cases in Russia result in convictions. The trial was adjourned on Thursday afternoon, with the next session scheduled for August 7, as reported by Russian news agencies.

Evan Gershkovich, another American citizen, is the highest-profile American currently detained in Russia. He stands accused of gathering classified information from a tank factory located in Nizhny Tagil, approximately 90 miles north of Yekaterinburg. Gershkovich’s employer denies the allegations, and the U.S. State Department has declared his detention as wrongful. His closed trial is set to commence next Wednesday.

Since its military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has intensified its crackdown on dissent and enacted laws criminalizing criticism of the operation in Ukraine, as well as remarks deemed to discredit the Russian military. Concerns have been raised regarding the possibility of Russia targeting U.S. nationals for arrest.

Author: CrimeDoor


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