New details released about US soldier arrested in Russia

A US soldier —stationed in South Korea and detained in Russia on suspicion of threatening his girlfriend—went on trial on Thursday, Russian State Media reported.

Gordon Black was detained on May 2 in Vladivostok, a port city located in Russia’s far-east.

Suspected of stealing from his Russian girlfriend, Black was also charged with threatening to kill her.

Black, a US Army staff sergeant based at Camp Humphreys near Seoul, pleaded guilty to theft in May,

As his trial in Vladivostok began, Black stated he understood the charges against him and agreed to testify.

When the judge asked if he admitted guilt, Black claimed he would enter a plea later.

According to Fox News, the interior ministry mentioned that Black had met the Russian woman in South Korea and later traveled to Vladivostok to be with her.

The Pentagon said Black broke army rules by traveling to Russia without authorization, having passed through China. The United States warns its citizens against traveling to Russia due to “the potential for harassment and the singling out of US citizens for detention by Russian government security officials.” Russia stated that Black’s case has no political element.

Black’s wife, Megan Black, with whom he is finalizing a divorce, and his mother, Melody Jones, told Reuters last month that he and the Russian woman had a tumultuous and sometimes violent relationship.

Testifying in court on Thursday, Black’s girlfriend said he had frequent outbursts of aggression and had run-ins with Russian police before his detention, the TASS state news agency reported.

Prosecutors said the couple often quarreled, and Black allegedly “forcibly grabbed the girl by the neck, which she perceived as a real threat to her life.”

Black is then alleged to have stolen 10,000 rubles ($110) from her purse and fled their shared apartment, according to media reports. He was later arrested at a local hotel, where he had bought plane tickets and intended to fly back to the US.

The situation is ongoing, as the trial has not concluded.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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