News

American ballerina Ksenia Karelina is detained for ‘high treason’ in Russia by Putin’s feared FSB security accused of raising $51 for the Ukrainian army and could face 20 years in jail if found guilty


Vladimir Putin‘s secret security force the FSB has arrested a dual Russian-American ballerina on treason charges, officials confirmed Tuesday. 

Video posted by a Russian news agency shows 32-year-old Ksenia Karelina being led into a courtroom in handcuffs with her face blurred. It’s not clear when the video was recorded. 

Karelina is a resident of Los Angeles who became a US citizen in 2021. Last summer, she married her husband, a so far unidentified American.

She was arrested on the same day that Putin sat down for his widely panned interview with Tucker Carlson. The apprehension took place outside of a movie theater in Yekaterinburg. The initial charges related to swearing offenses. 

Yekaterinburg, the largest city in the Ural region, is also where Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich was arrested on spying charges nearly 12 months ago.

A subsequent investigation saw Karelina accused of fundraising for a Ukrainian military cause. She is specifically accused of transferring $51.80 from an American bank account to Ukrainian charity, Razom. 

Treason charges can carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison. 

On her Facebook page, Karelina says that she’s from Yekaterinburg and that she studied ballet at the S. P. Diaghilev school. 

A statement from Russian officials refers to Karelina as a resident of Los Angeles

A statement from Russian officials refers to Karelina as a resident of Los Angeles 

Karelina is accused of fund raising for a pro-Ukrainian organization, she attained US citizenship in 2021

Karelina is accused of fund raising for a pro-Ukrainian organization, she attained US citizenship in 2021

Karelina says that she’s from Yekaterinburg that she studied ballet at the S. P. Diaghilev school

Karelina is accused of 'proactively collecting funds since February 2022 in the interests of a Ukrainian organization'

Karelina is accused of ‘proactively collecting funds since February 2022 in the interests of a Ukrainian organization’

Karelina is accused of ‘proactively collecting funds since February 2022 in the interests of a Ukrainian organization, which were subsequently used to purchase tactical medicine, equipment, weapons and ammunition for the Armed Forces of Ukraine,’ the FSB alleges. 

‘In addition, the citizen in question repeatedly took part in public actions in support of the Kyiv regime while in the United States,’ the agency added, reports The Moscow Times. 

Russian language outlet Mediazona reports that Karelina has been a US citizen since 2021 and that in 2023 she married an American man. 

Karelina graduated from Ural Federal University in 2013. Numerous posts on her Facebook page show her in Baltimore, Maryland, beginning in 2014. 

Mediazona reports that Karelina was first arrested on charges of ‘petty hooliganism,’ for swearing. While in custody, those charges were upgraded to ‘high treason.’

The outlet goes on to report that Karelina ceased posting on the Russian social media site VK in 2021 after discussing getting American citizenship on the platform.  

Razom, the Ukrainian charity that she’s accused of supporting, describes itself as ‘contributing to the establishment of a secure, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine.’ 

On her LinkedIn page, Karelina says that she works as a manager at Ciel Spa Beverly Hills, a role that she’s been in since 2019. 

Karelina pictured with friends in a Facebook post from 2017

Karelina pictured with friends in a Facebook post from 2017

On her LinkedIn page, Karelina says that she works as a manager at Ciel Spa Beverly Hills, a role that she's been in since 2019

On her LinkedIn page, Karelina says that she works as a manager at Ciel Spa Beverly Hills, a role that she’s been in since 2019

Mediazona reports that Karelina was first arrested on charges of 'petty hooliganism,' for swearing. While in custody, those charges were upgraded to 'high treason'

Mediazona reports that Karelina was first arrested on charges of ‘petty hooliganism,’ for swearing. While in custody, those charges were upgraded to ‘high treason’

Karelina is the latest American behind bars in Russia, in addition to Gershkovich, former US Marine Paul Whelan and Texas dad David Barnes, 65, who last week was sentenced to 21 years in prison in Moscow on child abuse charges. 

On the same day that Karelina’s arrest was announced, Gershkovich appeared in a Moscow court where he had his pre-trial detention extended. 

Earlier this month, Putin told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview that he was open to the idea of releasing Americans held in Russian jails but did not discuss specifics. 

‘I do not rule out that the person you refer to, Mr Gershkovich, may return to his motherland. We want the US special services to think about how they can contribute to achieving the goals our special services are pursuing,’ Putin told Carlson. 

Numerous reports have suggested that Putin is interested in discussing an exchange involving Vadim Krasikov, the assassin responsible for the shooting of Chechen rebel Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin in 2019. 



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button