Russia Arrests Dual Citizen on Charges of Treason

Russia’s Federal Security Service has arrested a woman with Russian and American citizenship and accused her of raising funds for Ukraine’s military. She has been charged with treason. The news was reported by tass, a news agency controlled by the Russian government.

The Federal Security Service said the woman is a 33-year-old resident of Los Angeles, California. It declined to provide her name, but claimed that she has been participating in “public actions” in the United States in support of Ukraine and that she has been “proactively collecting funds” that ultimately funded supplies for Ukrainian troops.

tass reported that “criminal charges have been filed against the detainee under Article 275 of the Russian Criminal Code (‘High Treason’).” She faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The woman is one of several U.S. nationals who have now been detained in Russia. Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested on March 29 on charges of espionage. Joe Biden famously told Russia, “Let him go”; but almost a year later, he is among those who remain in Russian custody.

Some believe the Russian government is using these arrests to try to pressure the Biden government into concessions such as releasing prisoners, but at this point there have been no official negotiations.

Under Joe Biden and Barack Obama, the United States has engaged with foreign adversaries in prisoner swaps, large cash payments, and other negotiations and compromises. It has withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan, sustained the Iranian regime, and empowered China and Europe. This has real-world consequences, and not only for American citizens confined in foreign prisons.