Home Russia Russian-American Woman Goes On Trial For Treason After Donating Funds To Ukraine

Russian-American Woman Goes On Trial For Treason After Donating Funds To Ukraine

Russian-American, Russia, US, treason, Ukraine
Ksenia Karelina, a dual US-Russian national detained on suspicion of treason, attends a court hearing in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Press Service of the Sverdlovsk Regional Court/Handout via REUTERS

A Russian-American woman has gone on trial for treason in Russia after she donated funds to Ukraine.

Facing 12 years in prison

Her trial will be held behind closed doors. This is customary with such cases in Russia. Treason acquittals are rare and if found guilty she faces a sentence of 12 years to life in prison.

The court in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg published a short video of Karelina sitting in a glass cage, wearing jeans and a green plaid shirt. She smiled faintly as reporters snapped photographs.

Karelina said Russia was safe

Over one dozen Americans are currently jailed in Russia. They are part of a growing list of foreign nationals who have found themselves caught up in the crisis of relations between Moscow and Washington.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Karelina in January while she was visiting her parents and young sister in Yekaterinburg.

Her former mother-in-law Eleonora Srebroski said Karelina had travelled home around the New Year. This was after her boyfriend surprised her with a plane ticket. She had assured her boyfriend that “Russia was safe.”

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Srebroski said Karelina had made a small donation to Razom for Ukraine, a New York-based nonprofit that sends non-military assistance to the country.

Karelina, who is in her early thirties, arrived in the US in 2012 via a work-study program. Srebroski’s son had been her husband. He described her as a fun-loving woman who didn’t care much for politics.

Karelina’s social media profiles feature photos of herself and friends on the beach and on trips, but without political messaging.

With inputs from Reuters