An American woman faces life imprisonment in Russia because of the $50 she donated to Ukraine - ForumDaily
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An American woman faces life imprisonment in Russia because of the $50 she donated to Ukraine.

The trial of Los Angeles resident Ksenia Karelina has begun in Russia. She is accused of high treason for a small money transfer in support of Ukraine, reports CBS News.

Photo: IStock

On June 20, the trial of Ksenia Karelina, a US citizen of Russian origin, a cosmetologist from Los Angeles, began in Russia. The trial began three months after her arrest in January, when she came to her home country to visit family. Karelina is accused of transferring a small amount of money to support Ukraine.

According to her former mother-in-law, Eleonora Srebroski, a friend of Ksenia Karelina gave her a ticket to Russia, to Yekaterinburg, so that she could visit her parents and younger sister. Srebroski said that Karelina made a small money transfer to the New York non-profit organization Razom. The organization has been sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022. Karelina’s friend reported that Ksenia transferred $50 to the organization’s account.

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According to her former mother-in-law, Karelina told her friend that she thought it was safe to go to Russia and he had nothing to worry about her. But she was wrong. In her former homeland, the Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Karelina, first on charges of “petty hooliganism.” Then it was reclassified as “high treason.” The girl faces up to 12 years in prison or life imprisonment.

The trial is taking place behind closed doors; there is only a short video from the courtroom in Yekaterinburg. It shows the defendant, dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans, sitting in a glass cage.

Srebroski called Karelina a “wonderful person” and noted that she planned to complete a university course in tourism in Russia. In addition, her daughter-in-law was fond of ballet.

“I’m shocked,” Srebroski was indignant shortly after Ksenia’s arrest, noting that in Russia “there is no justice.”

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Meanwhile, Washington accuses Moscow of arresting American citizens in order to use them as bargaining chips for the release of Russian prisoners. Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovitch recently stood trial on espionage charges. Among those detained were Radio Free Europe journalist Alsou Kurmasheva and former US Marine Paul Whelan.

The trial of Karelina continues. Acquittals in cases of high treason in Russia are very rare.

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