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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Los Angeles woman arrested on treason charge in Russia’s Yekaterinburg

By Robyn Dixon Washington Post

RIGA, Latvia - Russia’s Federal Security Service announced Tuesday the arrest of a 33-year-old woman on treason charges, accusing her of taking part in pro-Ukraine protests outside Russia and of sending aid to Kyiv.

The woman, a dual American-Russian citizen, was not identified in a statement issued by the Federal Security Service, or FSB, which said she “was involved in providing financial assistance to a foreign state in activities directed against the security of our country.”

The statement identified her as a “resident of Los Angeles.” It was unclear how long she had lived in California or when and why she returned to Russia.

The FSB published video of a woman dressed in a beige outfit with a white hat pulled over her face being led by a masked security agent down several flights in a building in Yekaterinburg, a city just east of the Ural mountains.

She was then shown being handcuffed, placed in a car and taken into a courtroom. Video with her face blurred showed the woman standing in a metal cage in the court. It was unclear precisely when the arrest occurred, but Russian media reported that a court proceeding in the case took place Monday.

The FSB statement said the woman repeatedly took part in public protest actions outside Russia “in support of the Kyiv regime.” Since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, she had also raised funds for a Ukrainian organization, the FSB claimed.

These were “used to purchase tactical medicine, equipment, weapons and ammunition by the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” according to the FSB statement.

The statement said the woman had appeared in court, which remanded her to a detention center pending investigation of the case.

The woman’s arrest follows that of American journalist Evan Gershkovich, a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal accredited by the Russian Foreign Ministry, in Yekaterinburg last March on espionage charges that he, his employer and the State Department vehemently deny.

A Prague-based editor with Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, Alsu Kurmasheva, a dual American-Russian citizen, was arrested in October after traveling to her family’s home in Russia’s Tatarstan region for a family emergency. Kurmasheva was charged with failing to register as a foreign agent.

Russian treason cases are opaque, with trials closed and evidence classified.