Russia Says Detained US Soldier Admitted Guilt

Russia Says Detained US Soldier Admitted Guilt

( – In the wake of the Russo-Ukrainian war and escalated tensions between Russia and the US, the State Department has cautioned Americans against traveling to Russia. In recent years, the country has detained a WNBA star, a journalist, and now, a US soldier. Earlier this month, Russian officials held Staff Sgt. Gordon Black, 34, on suspicion of theft while in the nation on unofficial travel. State media said he has admitted his guilt.

On Monday, May 13, RIA Novosti, a state-owned media agency in Russia, reported that the soldier’s defense team filed an appeal for his detention, which they expected to last until at least July 2. Then, a Russian official at the Department of Internal Affairs of the Primorsky Territory spoke with ABC News later in the week, confirming that Black admitted to stealing. Authorities accused him of taking money from his girlfriend, a woman he met in South Korea and was visiting in the country before heading home. He did not have permission from his superiors to detour to Russia on his way back to Fort Cavazos.

The investigation into Black’s alleged theft was ongoing, but the official said he was “cooperating” and “Communication is carried out with the help of an English translator.”

The woman he was visiting said the two had an argument. She noticed that money was missing and reported it to authorities, who detained Black. He was at a hotel at the time and had purchased a return ticket home to the United States.

John Kirby, a National Security Council spokesman, spoke with the press about Black‚Äôs detainment earlier this month. He said the US government knew of his detainment but couldn’t go into details about the case. The US is still trying to negotiate the release of journalist Evan Gerhkovich, who Russian authorities jailed last March on charges of espionage, and former Marine Paul Whelan, in custody since 2018 on the same accusations.

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