Army Soldier Detained On Charges In Russia

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An alarming trend has emerged in Russia, where American citizens are being detained and imprisoned on questionable charges.

The latest victim is U.S. Army soldier Staff Sgt. Gordon Black, who was detained in Vladivostok last week. Black, who was stationed in South Korea and on leave to return home, made a detour to Russia when he was arrested by authorities.

According to reports, the Russian Federation claims that Black stole something and has charged him with criminal misconduct. However, it is widely believed that this is a trumped-up charge in order to detain an American.

Black’s case is just the latest in a string of Americans being held in Russian jails. Corporate security executive Paul Whelan and journalist Evan Gershkovich are also currently being held on false charges by the Russian government. The U.S. government has designated these individuals as being wrongfully detained and has been working to negotiate their release.

It is clear that the Russian government is using these Americans as political pawns in their ongoing feud with the United States. This is not the first time that the Russian government has targeted Americans in this manner. Travis Leake, a musician living in Russia, was arrested in 2023 on drug-related charges, while teacher Marc Fogel was sentenced to 14 years in prison on similar charges.

The latest victim, Ksenia Karelina, a dual American-Russian citizen, was denied her appeal in court on Thursday. Karelina, a former ballerina living in California, was arrested in January for allegedly organizing fundraisers for Ukraine’s military and posting anti-Russia messages. This is a frightening pattern of targeting individuals who have spoken out against Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

The U.S. government has been working tirelessly to have these individuals released and has urged all U.S. citizens to leave Russia immediately. White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby stated last week, “If you’re a U.S. citizen, including a dual national, residing in or traveling to Russia, you should leave immediately if you can.” The safety and well-being of American citizens should be of the utmost concern, and it is clear that Russia is not a safe place for Americans to be.

This disturbing trend of targeting and detaining Americans in Russia must come to an end. The U.S. must take a strong stance against this aggression and demand the immediate release of all U.S. citizens being held in Russian jails.

We cannot allow the Russian government to continue to use American citizens as political pawns. We must stand up for our own and protect the rights and freedoms of our citizens. The safety and security of Americans should never be compromised.