US Soldier Appeals Russian Detention

( – An American soldier currently detained in Russia has appealed his two-month pretrial detention, according to Russian state media.

34-year-old Staff Sgt. Gordon Black was arrested in Vladivostok on May 2 over suspicions of stealing money from his Russian girlfriend. His defense team has filed an appeal against the pretrial detention, with objections allowed until May 20.

Black was serving in South Korea and was bound for Fort Cavazos, Texas, but he went to Russia instead without any sort of notice. The Army has not yet commented on if it will be providing any legal counsel. It also remains uncertain if Black has legal representation in Russia. The US is providing as much consular support as they can, but since he is accused of committing theft on Russian soil, there is not much that they can legally do.

According to his social media posts, Black, who is currently undergoing a divorce, has been romantically involved with a Russian woman, Alexandra Vashchuk. Reports suggest a tumultuous relationship between Black and Vashchuk, with instances of physical violence. In her social media posts, Vashchuk has referred to Black as her husband, though there’s no evidence of their marriage.

Videos on social media revealed multiple conversations between Vashchuk and Black. They can be seen talking about geopolitics, with Black expressing some anti-Nato sentiment. Vashchuk has since edited Black out of her social media posts, indicating that they have most likely broken up.

Black’s case is similar to the earlier case of Travis King, another US soldier who crossed the Korean Demilitarized Zone into North Korea last year. Both disobeyed orders and travelled not only to unauthorized locations but to countries that are directly against US interests. According to his spokesperson, King is currently in pretrial confinement in New Mexico, near his post of Fort Bliss, Texas. While King remains in the Army after his release from North Korea, Black’s fate is uncertain.

Copyright 2024,