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21 July, 2024
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Putin detains US ballerina for alleged $51 high treason

American ballerina faces 20 years for 'treason' in Russia


Vladimir Putin's Federal Security Service has detained Ksenia Karelina, a dual Russian-American ballerina, on suspicion of treason, officials reported Tuesday.

In a video shared by a Russian news agency, 32-year-old Ksenia Karelina was seen escorted into a courtroom with her face obscured by handcuffs. The timing of the video remains unclear.

According to a report on Daily Mail, Karelina, residing in Los Angeles and having obtained US citizenship in 2021, frequently shared cheerful moments from her life in the US on social media. Last summer, she tied the knot with her American spouse, whose identity remains undisclosed.

Her apprehension coincided with Putin's criticized interview with Tucker Carlson in January. Initially detained for minor infractions, Karelina was later accused of supporting a Ukrainian military cause by allegedly transferring $51.80 to a Ukrainian charity, Razom, from her American bank account.

Treason charges in Russia can lead to lengthy prison sentences, with 63 individuals charged since 2023, and 37 convictions.

Reports indicate Karelina's involvement in public activities supporting Ukraine while in the US, according to the FSB and corroborated by The Moscow Times.

Her educational background includes ballet training at the S. P. Diaghilev school in Yekaterinburg, as stated on her Facebook page. She graduated from Ural Federal University in 2013 and pursued endeavors in Baltimore, Maryland, from 2014 onward.

The allegations against Karelina evolved from minor offenses to accusations of high treason, according to Mediazona. She had ceased activity on Russian social media after obtaining US citizenship in 2021.

Razom, the Ukrainian charity in question, advocates for a secure and democratic Ukraine.

Karelina's professional life as a manager at Ciel Spa Beverly Hills since 2019 is documented on her LinkedIn profile.

Her detention adds to the list of Americans held in Russia, including journalist Evan Gershkovich, former Marine Paul Whelan, and David Barnes, recently sentenced to 21 years for child abuse.

Gershkovich's pre-trial detention was extended on the same day as Karelina's arrest announcement.

While Putin expressed openness to the release of Americans in Russian custody during an interview with Tucker Carlson, discussions remain inconclusive. Speculation surrounds a potential exchange involving Vadim Krasikov, the assassin linked to the shooting of Chechen rebel Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin in 2019.

[With information sourced from Daily Mail]

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