UK News



British Queen celebrates

The trial of Ksenia Karelina, a dual citizen of the US and Russia accused of treason for allegedly fundraising for Ukraine’s military, has commenced

in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Ksenia Karelina, 33, was arrested earlier this year in Yekaterinburg while visiting her grandparents. The charges against her stem from a donation of $51.80 she made to a Ukrainian charity from her employer, a spa in Beverly Hills, California.

The trial began on Thursday morning and is being conducted behind closed doors. If convicted, Karelina faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

A resident of Los Angeles and an amateur ballerina who obtained US citizenship in 2021, Karelina entered Russia in January. Her arrest was not disclosed to the US until February 8.

Chris Van Deerden, Karelina’s boyfriend, expressed hope to CNN that the US would secure her return, emphasizing her pride in her Russian heritage and disinterest in current affairs related to the conflict.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has accused Karelina of supporting the Ukrainian government through public actions. The New York-based non-profit Razom for Ukraine, to which Karelina allegedly donated, expressed shock at her detention.

Karelina is among several American citizens detained in Russian custody, including journalists and former military personnel.

In a separate development, Russian prosecutors announced that Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich will stand trial on espionage charges on June 26 in Yekaterinburg. Gershkovich, the first American journalist arrested for espionage in Russia since the Cold War, has been detained for over a year.

Discussing these cases, Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov suggested to CNN that the FSB’s strategy appears to involve holding Americans with Russian citizenship as potential bargaining chips in diplomatic negotiations with the US. Photo by Dion Hinchcliffe, Wikimedia commons.