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Russia detains Los Angeles woman for allegedly providing support to Ukraine

Karelina had transferred $51.80 from her U.S. bank account to the New York-based group "Razom for Ukraine," per Perviy Otdel. 

Published: February 20, 2024 1:20pm

A dual Russian and U.S. citizen who lives in Los Angeles was arrested in Russia after she allegedly provided financial support to Ukrainian organizations, Russia's Federal Security Service said Tuesday.

Since February 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, the 33-year-old woman has collected funds for Ukrainian organizations, which then used that money to purchase medicine, equipment, weapons and ammunition for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the security agency said.

"In addition, in the United States, this citizen repeatedly took part in public actions in support of the Kyiv regime," the agency also said, as translated. 

Perviy Otdel, a group of Russian attorneys who focus on fighting for human rights, identified the woman as Ksenia (Karelina) Khavana. Russian media outlet Media Zona identified her as Ksenia Karelina.

Russian court records state that she was arrested for treason and is scheduled to appear in a court in the city of Yekaterinburg for a hearing Tuesday on the case.

Karelina had transferred $51.80 from her U.S. bank account to the group "Razom for Ukraine," a New York-based nonprofit supporting the war-torn nation, per Perviy Otdel. 

She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. 

On the same day Russia announced her arrest, a Moscow court rejected Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich's appeal to lift his pretrial detention. Gershkovich, who has maintained his innocence, has remained behind bars since he was arrested on an espionage charge last year.

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