Russia Opens Treason Trial Against Dual US Citizen

A dual US-Russian citizen accused of donating roughly $50 to a pro-Ukrainian organization was tried for treason in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on Thursday, a regional court announced.

Ksenia Karelina, a 32-year-old ballerina who lives and works in Los Angeles, was detained by police in Yekaterinburg in late January while on a visit to her family in Russia.

The prosecution alleged that she was “proactively transferring funds to a Ukrainian organisation, which the Ukrainian Armed Forces subsequently used to purchase tactical medicine, equipment, weapons and ammunition” .

US media said that she gave roughly $50 to a New York-based Ukrainian charity in February 2022, shortly after Russia commenced its armed offensive.

She could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Karelina smiled wistfully at reporters in court as she sat in the defendants’ cage before the hearing, according to a video released by the regional court.

The court conducted the actual proceedings behind closed doors, as is customary in treason trials, and set another hearing on August 7.

Karelina’s partner has openly asked for her release.

Washington has accused Moscow of arresting its citizens on false charges in order to use them as leverage to seek the release of Russians convicted abroad.

Other US nationals jailed in Russia include reporters Evan Gershkovich and Alsu Kurmasheva, as well as former US Marine Paul Whelan.

On Wednesday, a court in Russia’s far east sentenced a US soldier to three years and nine months in prison after he was convicted of threatening to kill and stealing from his fiancée.

Leave a Reply