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A Russian court has extended the detention of an American soldier who was arrested last week, until July, amid ongoing investigations by both the Pentagon and Russian authorities.

Army Staff Sgt. Gordon Black was detained on May 2 in Vladivostok for allegedly stealing personal property, according to a statement from the Pervomaisky District Court of Vladivostok. The court justified the extended detention by expressing concerns that Black might flee to evade legal proceedings. “When choosing a preventative measure in the form of detention, the court came to the conclusion that US citizen B., under the weight, in order to avoid responsibility, could hide from the preliminary investigation authorities and the court, thereby preventing the proceedings in the case,” the court disclosed.

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Further details reveal that Black is accused of “secretly stealing the property” of a civilian, causing significant damage. Reports from NBC News and Reuters shed light on the incident, noting that the allegations stem from a complaint filed by a 32-year-old woman after a dispute, leading to Black’s arrest in a local hotel where he had a plane ticket booked for his return home.

The US Army has also commented on the situation, explaining that Black was stationed in South Korea and was supposed to travel to Fort Cavazos, Texas, for a permanent change of station. Instead, he traveled to Russia for personal reasons, as stated by US Army spokesperson Cynthia O. Smith. Melody Jones, Black’s mother, informed ABC News that her son traveled to Russia to visit his girlfriend, whom he met in South Korea over a year ago.

This incident is part of a broader context of rising tensions and increased arrests of Americans in Russia, as relations between the two countries remain strained due to geopolitical conflicts, including the ongoing war in Ukraine. The US suggests these arrests might be used for political leverage, a claim Russia denies, asserting it only detains those who violate its laws.


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