Russia sentences U.S. soldier Gordon Black to penal colony | EUROtoday

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A Russian court docket sentenced an American soldier Wednesday to 3 years and 9 months in a penal colony after discovering him responsible of theft and threatening to kill his Russian girlfriend, state media reported.

Prosecutors stated U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gordon Black, 34, stole 10,000 rubles ($120) from his girlfriend Alexandra Vashchuk and grabbed her by the neck, which she thought-about a risk to her life, Interfax reported. The sentencing befell in at Vladivostok’s Pervomaisky District Court, in Russia’s far east.

Black met Vashchuk in South Korea, the place he was stationed till April, and commenced a romantic relationship together with her. After she returned to Russia with out him, he adopted her there with out notifying his commanders or getting permission.

In May, Russian authorities arrested and detained him on felony misconduct expenses. According to Interfax, he was arrested after combating with Vashchuk within the residence they shared, throughout which he grabbed her by the neck and took cash from her purse.

Black claimed she had behaved aggressively towards him after consuming half a bottle of vodka and commenced hitting him, the information company reported.

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Judge Yelena Stepankova stated in court docket Wednesday that Black threatened to kill Vashchuk and dedicated theft, and ordered him to pay again the cash.

Black pleaded not responsible this week to the demise risk however acknowledged stealing the cash, arguing that the theft was not premeditated however out of necessity to pay for a resort, state media reported.

The State Department warns Americans towards touring to Russia, and the Pentagon has barred navy personnel from touring to the nation with out permission. Neither the Defense Department, the State Department nor the U.S. Embassy in Moscow instantly responded to a request early Wednesday for remark.

A lot of Americans are being held in Russian jails, amongst them former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, each of whom have been accused of spying. The U.S. authorities declared each males to be wrongfully detained, a designation that commits the federal government to work for his or her launch.

The detentions have added additional pressure to the tensions between Washington and Moscow, which have been worsened by Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Black is married within the United States however goes by way of a divorce, members of the family informed The Post in May. They stated he was imagined to be on go away, returning to Fort Cavazos in Texas, however traveled to Russia to see Vashchuk as a substitute.

Black enlisted within the Army as an infantryman in 2008 and was most lately assigned to the eighth Army at Camp Humphreys in South Korea, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh informed reporters in May.

He plans to enchantment the decision, his attorneys stated.

Vashchuk didn’t seem in court docket on Wednesday, saying it was too laborious to have a look at Black and keep in mind the occasions that befell, Interfax reported.

Robyn Dixon contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/06/19/gordon-black-russia-penal-colony/