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Russia arrests US citizen for sending $ 50 to Ukrainian nonprofit

If convicted, the 33-year-old detainee from Los Angeles could face 20 years in a Russian jail.
US citizen arrest by Russian FSB
Screenshot from the video of the US citizen arrest by Russian FSB
Russia arrests US citizen for sending $ 50 to Ukrainian nonprofit

Russia arrested on 20 February a woman with dual Russian and American citizenship, alleging “she committed state treason by raising funds for Ukraine,” the New York Times reported, citing Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

The FSB identified the detainee as a 33-year-old Los Angeles resident and claimed “she had raised money for a Ukrainian organization that bought weapons and other equipment for Ukraine’s military.”

According to Perviy Otdel, a group of lawyers specializing in treason cases, the woman was accused of treason “for sending just over $50 to Razom for Ukraine, a New York-based nonprofit organization that sends assistance to the country.”

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti published a video showing the woman, her eyes covered by a white hat, being handcuffed and escorted by masked FSB agents in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The 33-year-old detainee reportedly could face up to 20 years in prison.

Her arrest raises suspicions that “the Kremlin views [detained American citizens] as valuable assets to be traded for high-profile Russians held in custody in the United States,” considering the steady increase in Russian state treason cases since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Perviy Otdel said nearly 50 treason accusations last year, ranging from vocal Kremlin critics to a student photographing Russian army formations.

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