US Soldier Arrested Why? Where?

( – In what seems like another case of an American captured by Putin’s Russia to use as a bargaining chip against the United States, a US soldier has been detained by the Russians on allegations of theft, as confirmed by American authorities on Monday.

Multiple sources have identified the individual as Staff Sgt. Gordon D. Black, apprehended on May 2nd in Vladivostok, a Pacific port city situated near the borders of North Korea and China.

Sgt. Black, aged 34, was in Russia on personal, non-official business, despite being previously stationed in South Korea, NBC News reported, as cited by The New York Post.

He was in the midst of a transfer back to Fort Cavazos in Texas, previously known as Fort Hood.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby acknowledged awareness of the situation by the Biden administration but refrained from elaborating.

“I can’t really say much about this right now,” Kirby stated during a regular press briefing, directing further inquiries to the Department of Defense.

Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith confirmed that Russia had notified the US of Black’s arrest and that the Army had subsequently informed his family.

“The US Department of State is providing appropriate consular support to the soldier in Russia,” Smith added.

It is a requirement for American service members to inform their chain of command prior to departing their assigned duty station. To legally enter Russia, which the US considers an adversary, Black would have required authorization from the Pentagon.

The State Department has issued a directive for US citizens in Russia to “depart immediately” and maintains a level four “do not travel” advisory due to the war in Ukraine and heightened hostilities towards Americans in Russia.

Recent detentions of Americans in Russia include Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was taken into custody in March 2023 on charges of espionage and remains imprisoned.

Former Marine Paul Whelan was arrested on December 28, 2018, in Moscow while attending a friend’s wedding and was subsequently sentenced in June 2020 to 16 years on espionage charges.

In a notable exchange, women’s basketball icon Britney Griner was released from Russian custody in December 2022 in a prisoner swap that saw the US release Viktor Bout, an arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death,” from federal imprisonment.

Griner had been arrested in February of the previous year on drug-related charges at a Moscow airport.

Additionally, Ksenia Karelina, a dual U.S.-Russian citizen and ballerina, was arrested in January while visiting her grandmother, on charges including treason for allegedly donating $51 to Razom, a charity supporting Ukraine’s military.

Copyright 2024,