'Do Not Go There!': State Dept Warns Americans As Russia Captures Two More U.S. Citizens

'Do Not Go There!': State Dept Warns Americans As Russia Captures Two More U.S. Citizens

The State Department on Tuesday strongly advised U.S. citizens not to go to Russia following reports about the arrests of additional Americans in the increasingly hostile country, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"For any American citizen anywhere in the world, whether they are here in the United States or whether they’re in some other country, if you are considering going to Russia, don’t do it!" State Department's Spokesperson Matthew Miller told a daily briefing when responding to TURAN's questions. "It’s dangerous. You risk being detained; you risk other threats to your health and well-being,"he explained.

Two U.S. nationals were arrested in separate cases, including a serving army member, according to the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

The U.S. media identified one of the captured Americans as Army Staff Sgt. Gordon Black, who was reportedly arrested on May 2 in Vladivostok, on charges of theft after he had traveled there through China, and did not get U.S. government approval for his travel plans.

Black, 35, was stationed at Camp Humphreys in South Korea until taking a permanent change of station leave last month before traveling to Texas. He instead flew from South Korea, through China to Vladivostok for “personal reasons,” as U.S. Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith put it.

Black’s mother told reporters that her son traveled to Russia to visit his girlfriend.

Miller, when asked by TURAN during Tuesday briefing, said that whenever a U.S. citizen is detained abroad, consular officers seek to aid with all appropriate assistance, and "we are doing so in this case."

"I’m not able to say more, unfortunately," he added.

Russian authorities separately disclosed yesterday that another American, identified by court officials as William Russell Nycum, had been detained some 10 days ago in an unrelated case and was in custody in Moscow on "petty hooliganism" and alcohol charges.

The latest arrests come as tensions increase between the two nations in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The Kremlin claims those it captures broke the law, while the U.S. alleges Russia is targeting U.S. citizens to use as political leverage.

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