Russia Detains Dual U.S.-Russian Citizen

February 22, 2024

We are seeking consular assistance that has not yet been granted.

United States State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller commenting on news out of Russia that the country detained a U.S.-Russian citizen, accusing her of treason for allegedly raising money to aid the Ukrainian military.

Why It Matters: Miller said, “generally … Russia does not recognize dual citizenship … and so oftentimes, we have a difficult time getting consular assistance,” without elaborating further on the woman’s case. While Russia’s Federal Security Service did not name the woman, reports have indicated her name is Ksenia Karelina, a 33-year-old resident of Los Angeles. The woman’s case is one among an increasing number of state treason cases in Russia since its invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago.

Big Picture: Regarding the woman’s arrest, White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby said on Tuesday, “I want to reiterate our very strong warnings about the danger posed to U.S. citizens inside Russia. So if you’re a U.S. citizen, including a dual national, residing in or traveling in Russia, you ought to leave right now if you can. Just depart immediately.”

Read More: Russia Arrests U.S. Citizen, Accusing Her of Treason by Aiding Ukraine (The New York Times)

Russia arrests L.A. woman for treason after she gave $50 to Ukraine, employer says (Los Angeles Times)

Russia detains Los Angeles ballerina on suspicion of treason (NBC News)

Photo Credit: Photo of Yekaterinburg via Unsplash, Yekaterinburg is where the Russian Federal Security Service said the woman was arrested in, and is also the city that wrongfully detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was detained in.

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas