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Business News/ News / World/  US Says Soldier Who Traveled to Russia Detained for ‘Misconduct’
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US Says Soldier Who Traveled to Russia Detained for ‘Misconduct’

A US soldier was detained in eastern Russia on “charges of criminal misconduct,” the US Army said Monday, a potential new flashpoint in relations between the nations already at a low since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine began in 2022.

US Says Soldier Who Traveled to Russia Detained for ‘Misconduct’Premium
US Says Soldier Who Traveled to Russia Detained for ‘Misconduct’

A US soldier was detained in eastern Russia on “charges of criminal misconduct," the US Army said Monday, a potential new flashpoint in relations between the nations already at a low since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine began in 2022. 

The soldier, who wasn’t identified, was detained by Russian authorities in Vladivostok on May 2, US Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said in a statement, which didn’t specify the nature of the charges. The State Department has notified the soldier’s family and is offering consular support, she said.

“Given the sensitivity of this matter, we are unable to provide additional details at this time," Smith said.

The soldier, a 34-year-old infantryman stationed in South Korea, traveled to Russia on his own, according to a person familiar with the situation who requested anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. He was scheduled to change duty stations from South Korea to Texas, according to the person.

A State Department spokesperson confirmed the detention of an American citizen, repeated department warnings against travel to Russia and urged any US citizens inside Russia to depart immediately.

The spokesperson declined to address the specifics of the soldier’s case, citing privacy and other considerations.

The detention, which US authorities thus far have not characterized as unlawful or illegitimate, adds to the tally of Americans held in Russia. The Biden administration classifies businessman Paul Whelan and journalist Evan Gershkovich, held in Russia since December 2018 and March 2023, respectively, as wrongfully detained. Both have been charged with, and Whelan convicted of, espionage charges that they and the US government dismiss as false.

Other Americans held in Russia include Marc Fogel, a former US diplomat and teacher convicted on drug charges, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, accused of failing to register as a foreign agent. Ksenia Karelina, a dual US-Russian national, has been detained on treason charges, reportedly tied to a charitable donation to benefit Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby earlier told reporters at the White House that the administration was aware of the soldier’s detention. The Army didn’t respond to questions about the nature of the soldier’s travels to Russia or the unit he was assigned to.

The Russian Embassy in Washington didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the nature of the charges or the soldier’s whereabouts or condition.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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Published: 07 May 2024, 03:04 AM IST
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