American detained on spy charges in Moscow

Whelan family shows Paul Whelan in Iceland. The former U.S. Marine was arrested in Russia on espionage charges

Whelan family shows Paul Whelan in Iceland. The former U.S. Marine was arrested in Russia on espionage charges

Russian Federation has detained a U.S. citizen in Moscow accused of spying, according to the FSB security service.

Its statement identified the person in Russian, with the AFP news agency saying the name appeared to translate as Paul Whelan.

FSB opened a criminal case under the article pertaining to espionage.

Further details of the accusations were not made public, but Whelan could face between 10 and 20 years in prison if convicted of such a crime. In addition to a response to Butina's arrest, Rohde pointed out that Russian President Vladimir Putin was sending a clear message to President Donald Trump for the New Year. Butina said in court that she'd been operating as a Kremlin agent as she befriended National Rifle Association leaders and influential USA conservatives.

Russia's Federal Security Service says an American on a spy mission was arrested in Moscow last week but Paul Whelan's family disputes that
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The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to NPR's request for comment.

Russian Federation has been entangled in multiple spy scandals in the West.

Tensions between Moscow and Washington have intensified since Russian Federation annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

The U.S. State Department said it was "aware of the detention of a U.S. citizen by Russian authorities" and had received formal notification from the Russian Foreign Ministry.




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