Russia detains American in Moscow over suspected spying
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Russia detains American in Moscow over suspected spying



Russia’s domestic security service (FSB) has said it had detained an American citizen suspected of spying in Moscow.

The FSB, which said the American had been detained on December 28, said in a statement on Monday that a criminal case had been opened against him.

The statement identified the American in Russian, using a name that appeared to translate as Paul Whelan.

It did not provide any detail about the nature of the alleged espionage.

The US Embassy in Moscow could not immediately be reached for comment.


The arrest came with Russia embroiled in a number of spy scandals with the West, from the alleged poisoning by Russian agents of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England, to the US conviction of Russian Maria Butina for acting as an illegal foreign agent.

Russia’s relations with the United States have soured since Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

Since then the United States and other Western countries have imposed a wide-range of sanctions against Russian officials, companies and banks.