Who are the Americans being detained in Russia?

Who are the Americans being detained in Russia?


Who are the Americans being detained in Russia?

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LONDON (Reuters) - Russia is holding at least a dozen American citizens in jail, including journalists and active duty soldiers.

Below are details about the best known Americans currently in detention, why Russia is holding them and what the United States is doing to get them back.

The United States warns its citizens against all travel to Russia.


A Wall Street Journal reporter accredited by Russia to work there, Gershkovich was arrested in March 2023 in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg and accused of trying to obtain defence secrets and espionage.

He and his newspaper strongly reject the charges and the US government has designated him as wrongfully detained, meaning it must seek ways to get Gershkovich released.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said this month Washington was taking "vigorous steps" to secure Gershkovich's release, but that ongoing talks needed to be conducted away from the media.

Gershkovich, 32, has been held in Moscow's Lefortovo prison since his arrest, which has been extended multiple times. No date has been set for his espionage trial.


A former U.S. marine holding U.S., British, Irish and Canadian citizenship, Whelan was arrested in 2018 and subsequently handed a 16-year sentence for espionage. He denied the charges.

At the time of his arrest, Whelan was head of global security for a Michigan-based car parts supplier. Russian investigators said he was a spy for military intelligence and had been caught red-handed with a computer flash drive containing classified information.

Whelan, 54, did not figure in a US-Russia prisoner exchange in December 2022 involving US basketball star Brittney Griner, despite speculation that he would be swapped. Griner was traded for Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout.

The US has designated Whelan as wrongfully detained.

She was arrested in the Russian city of Kazan in October while visiting her elderly mother. Authorities initially charged her with failing to register as a foreign agent, but later also charged her with spreading "fakes" about the Russian army, which risks up to 15 years in jail.

Kurmasheva's husband has petitioned the US to designate her as wrongfully detained.


An active duty US staff sergeant based in South Korea, Black was detained on May 2 in Vladivostok in the Russia's Far East on suspicion of stealing 10,000 roubles ($110) from his Russian girlfriend. Citing local prosecutors, Russian independent media reported he had also subsequently been charged with threatening to kill her.

The Pentagon said Black had broken army rules by travelling to Russia without authorisation, having passed through China.
His trial began on June 6 in Vladivostok. Black has agreed to testify but has not yet entered a plea.


A former US marine, Gilman was sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison in October 2022 for attacking a police officer on a train while he was drunk.

Gilman, who his lawyers said had come to Russia to study, told the court he did not remember the incident but had "apologised to Russia" and to the officer.