The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he is doing everything he can to learn more details about the arrest of Russian-American dancer Ksenia Karelina.
Karelina, a U.S. citizen, was arrested in January by Vladimir Putin’s notorious Federal Security Service (FSB) on treason charges, officials confirmed Tuesday.
A video published by a Russian media outlet shows the 32-year-old dancer being led into a courtroom blindfolded, although it is unclear when the video was recorded.
“Reports about the recent arrest of Russian-American dancer Ksenia Karelina on charges of high treason are worrying,” Jim Risch, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told DailyMail.com in an exclusive statement.
“Putin is so afraid of the Russian people learning the truth about his brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine that he is willing to use any means necessary to silence dissent,” the Idaho Republican said.
“I will do everything I can to determine the details of Ms. Karelina’s arrest and ensure that the United States supports her in this dangerous time,” the senator continued.
A statement from Russian officials refers to Karelina as a resident of Los Angeles.
She is specifically accused of transferring $51.80 from a US bank account to the Ukrainian charity Razom.
Vladimir Putin’s secret security force, the FSB, arrested Russian-American stuntwoman Ksenia Karelina, 32, on treason charges, officials confirmed Tuesday. She appeared in court blindfolded.
Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, told DailyMail.com he is working to get more information about Karelina’s arrest.
The American dancer is accused of treason in Russia for sending just $51.80 to a Ukrainian charity. She faces 20 years in prison.
Karelina, who works at a spa in Beverly Hills, California, traveled to Russia to visit her family on January 2, according to her close friend and employer Isabella Koretz.
She was arrested immediately after landing in Moscow, “interrogated for 13 hours” and placed in a freezing cell along with two other women, Koretz exclusively told DailyMail.com.
“She’s not a politician, she’s an esthetician,” said Koretz, 47, who runs Ciel Spa in Beverly Hills. “She’s just a super sweet person and she wanted to help.”
‘She flew from Istanbul to Russia. And she was detained as soon as she arrived.
‘They arrested her, kept her there, interrogated her for about 13 hours. Then they let her go, but they took her back and forth to prison.’
Koretz told DailyMail.com that after Karelina did not return from her trip after two weeks, he learned that the dancer had been arrested.
“In one of the last arrests before being imprisoned, they asked her to go out to a public square, saying they wanted to chat with her about something, then several agencies, including the FSB, publicly arrested her,” said the president of the spa.
“Every time he appears before the judge, the judge extends his sentence.”
Karelina is accused of raising funds for a pro-Ukrainian charity. She posted this photo when she was granted US citizenship in 2021.
On her Facebook page, Karelina says she is from Yekaterinburg, Russia, and studied ballet at the SP Diaghilev school.
Treason charges can carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison.
The White House is also scrambling to learn more about Karelina’s arrest.
“We are trying to obtain more information and secure some consular access to that individual,” White House spokesman John Kirby told DailyMail.com in a briefing on Tuesday.
He also warned any US citizens, including those with dual Russian citizenship, to leave the country immediately.
‘I want to reiterate our strong warnings about the danger they pose to American citizens inside Russia. So if you are a U.S. citizen, including a dual citizen residing or traveling in Russia, you should leave right now.”
“Obviously it goes without saying that if you are a US citizen or have a US passport and have not traveled to Russia but are considering going, we obviously urge you not to do so,” he added.
The dancer is accused of “proactively raising funds since February 2022 in the interests of a Ukrainian organization, which were subsequently used to purchase tactical medicines, equipment, weapons and ammunition for the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the FSB alleges.
“In addition, the citizen in question repeatedly participated in public actions in support of the kyiv regime while in the United States,” the agency added. The Moscow Times.
Karelina is the latest American behind bars in Russia, in addition to Gershkovich, former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan and Texas father David Barnes, 65, who last week was sentenced to 21 years in prison in Moscow on abuse charges. childish.
On the same day that Karelina’s arrest was announced, Gershkovich appeared before a Moscow court where his preventive detention was extended.