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Illustrative purposes only: Vladivostok, Russia. (Kangheewan/Getty Images)
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A U.S. soldier who traveled to Russia of his own accord has been arrested on suspicion of theft and is being held in pre-trial detention, officials in Washington said on May 6.

The staff sergeant had been stationed in South Korea. He was detained in Vladivostok on May 2 "on charges of criminal misconduct," CNN reported, citing U.S. Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith.

Russia is currently holding a number of U.S. nationals on what are widely believed to be trumped-up charges.

"The Russian Federation notified the U.S. Department of State of the criminal detention in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations," Smith said.

"The Army notified his family, and the U.S. Department of State is providing appropriate consular support to the soldier in Russia. Given the sensitivity of this matter, we are unable to provide additional details at this time."

Among the most high-profile U.S. citizens being held by Russia is Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been jailed awaiting charges in Russia for almost a year.

Gershkovich was arrested in Yekaterinburg in late March 2023 while working on a story about the Wagner mercenary group's recruiting methods, as well as Russian citizens' views on the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia accused him of espionage, which both the U.S. government and the WSJ strongly deny.

Espionage in Russia carries a maximum prison term of up to 20 years.

Russian court extends pre-trial detention of jailed US reporter Gershkovich for 5th time
Gershkovich was arrested in Yekaterinburg in late March 2023 while working on a story about the Wagner mercenary group’s recruiting methods, as well as Russian citizens’ views on the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
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