Home North America US Army Says A US Soldier Has Been Taken Into Russian Custody

US Army Says A US Soldier Has Been Taken Into Russian Custody

A US soldier has been detained in Russia, the US Army said on Monday in a statement. This makes him one of a number of American detainees to be held in the country.

“On May, 2, 2024, Russian authorities in Vladivostok, Russia, detained an American soldier on charges of criminal misconduct,” the Army said.

“The Army notified his family and the U.S. Department of State is providing appropriate consular support to the soldier in Russia. Given the sensitivity of this matter, we are unable to provide additional details at this time.”

The Russian newspaper Izvestia said that the man  who was a South Korea-based Army sergeant met a woman from Russia’s far eastern port of Vladivostok on the Internet. Izvestia reported that the couple lived together for a time. But he beat her and stole 200,000 roubles ($2,200) from her. After the filing of charges, he was arrested and has been put in jail.

Russia has a number of American detainees in their custody. The most prominent among them was US woman basketball player Britney Griner who was arrested in August 2022 for smuggling drugs into Russia. She was later released in a swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

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The other two Americans considered to be wrongfully detained in Russia, include Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, and Paul Whelan, a corporate security director and former U.S. Marine. Gershkovich was detained in 2023. He is being held on an allegation of espionage that he, the Journal and the U.S. government vehemently deny. Whelan was arrested in 2018 before the Ukraine invasion. Whelan and the U.S. government deny charges against him.

Gershkovich, 32, became the first U.S. journalist arrested on spying charges in Russia since the Cold War when he was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on March 29 last year. He, his newspaper, and the U.S. government all deny he is a spy.

Russia has issued no official statement on the matter so far.

(With inputs from Reuters & other agencies)