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Russia Arrests U.S.-Russian Woman Accused of Treason

Ksenia Karelina. Ksenia Karelina / VK

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has arrested a U.S.-Russian woman suspected of collecting money for the Ukrainian military, the law enforcement agency's press service announced Tuesday. 

Video shared by state-run news agencies showed FSB agents escorting a handcuffed and blindfolded woman out of an apartment building and later into a courtroom where she was placed inside a glass defendant’s cage.

The arrest of the “33-year-old resident of Los Angeles” took place in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, over 1,400 kilometers east of Moscow. 

The FSB said the unidentified woman is accused of “proactively collecting funds since February 2022 in the interests of a Ukrainian organization, which were subsequently used to purchase tactical medicine, equipment, weapons and ammunition for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

“In addition, the citizen in question repeatedly took part in public actions in support of the Kyiv regime while in the United States,” the law enforcement agency added.

The independent news website Mediazona and legal rights group Perviy Otdel identified the woman as Ksenia Karelina, who had previously written on social media that she obtained U.S. citizenship in late 2021 after marrying an American man.

According to Perviy Otdel, Karelina donated $51.80 to a Ukrainian human rights nonprofit from her American bank account on the day Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The Moscow Times could not independently verify either of the two reports.

Russian authorities placed the U.S.-Russian woman in pre-trial detention, where she faces between 12 and 20 years of imprisonment if found guilty of high treason.

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