Updated Feb 20, 2024 - World

Russia arrests Los Angeles woman on treason charges

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with workers at the AO Konar plant, a few minutes after his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that President Putin had been informed about Alexey Navalny's death, on February 16,

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 16. Photo: Contributor/Getty Images

Russian authorities said Tuesday that they had arrested a Los Angeles woman on treason charges for allegedly raising funds for Ukraine's army.

Why it matters: The woman, who was not immediately identified, is the latest American to be detained in Russia, joining Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Alsu Kurmasheva and Former Marine Paul Whelan.

Driving the news: Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement that it arrested the 33-year-old woman — who has dual U.S.-Russian citizenship — in Yekaterinburg, Russian, state news agency TASS reported.

  • The FSB said in a statement that the woman was "involved in providing financial assistance to a foreign state, thus conducting activities against the security of our country," per TASS.
  • Since 2022, the woman has helped collect money for a Ukrainian organization that purchases "tactical medical items, equipment and ammunition" for the Ukrainian army, per the statement.
  • In addition, while in the U.S. the woman allegedly took part in "public actions" in support of Ukraine, per TASS.
  • The statement didn't specify when the woman had returned to Russia or when her arrest took place.

State of play: Russian media reported that a court proceeding for the case took place on Monday, per the Washington Post.

  • The U.S. is aware of the case and is seeking consular assistance, though it has not yet been granted, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said at a press briefing Tuesday.

Go deeper: How Navalny became Putin's biggest political foe

Editor's note: This story was updated with comments from a U.S. State Department spokesperson.

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