US Soldier Detained in Russia on Charges of Theft, Straining Relations

US Soldier Detained in Russia on Charges of Theft, Straining Relations

A United States soldier, Staff Sergeant Gordon Black, has been detained in Vladivostok, Russia, on charges of theft, further straining the already tense relations between the two countries. The soldier, aged 34 and married, was stationed in South Korea and was in the process of returning home to Texas. However, he traveled to Russia to visit a longtime girlfriend, according to anonymous US officials.

The soldier’s arrest was reported by Russia’s RIA state news agency, which stated that he would be detained until July 2. Another US official, speaking anonymously to Reuters, revealed that Black was accused of stealing from a woman. The soldier’s detention is likely to complicate the already strained relations between the US and Russia, particularly due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Cynthia Smith, a spokeswoman for the US Army, confirmed the soldier’s detention and stated that the US Department of State is providing consular support to him in Russia. The soldier’s family has been informed of the situation. The arrest of the soldier comes at a time when the Biden administration has been urging Moscow to release several Americans, including Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested on spying charges in March 2021.

Both Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, an American convicted of spying against Russia, have been designated by the US State Department as “wrongfully detained,” indicating that the US government considers the charges against them to be baseless. The State Department spokesperson, when asked about the soldier’s detention, confirmed that a US citizen had been detained in Russia but provided no further details.

It is worth noting that this incident occurred less than a year after American soldier Travis King crossed into North Korea, resulting in his expulsion and subsequent charges of desertion.

Author: CrimeDoor

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