Ballerina arrested in Russia for 'high-treason' over her support for Ukraine

A ballerina with dual Russia-American citizenship was arrested in Yekaterinburg by Vladimir Putin's Federal Security Service (FSB) and charged with treason, officials confirmed Tuesday.

32-year-old Ksenia Karelina became a US citizen in 2021 and was residing in Los Angeles with her American husband whom she married in 2023, Daily Mail reports.

She was in Yekaterinburg, where she is from, at the time of her arrest. Karelona was initially apprehended outside of a movie theater for "petty hooliganism" after she was accused of swearing.

After an investigation was conducted on Karelona, she was charged with "high treason" when officials alleged that she transferred $51.80 from an American bank to a Ukrainian charity, Razom.

The ballerina is accused of "proactively collecting funds since February 2022 in the interests of a Ukrainian organization, which were subsequently used to purchase tactical medicine, equipment, weapons and ammunition for the Armed Forces of Ukraine," according to the FSB which added, "In addition, the citizen in question repeatedly took part in public actions in support of the Kyiv regime while in the United States."

She faces up to 20 years in Russian prison.

A chilling video posted by a Russian news agency shows Karelina handcuffed and with a cap drawn over her eyes on being taken into a courtroom. It is unclear when the video was recorded.

Yekaterinburg is also where Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich was arrested on spying charges almost a year ago.

After graduating from Russian ballet school SP Diaghilev, Karelina first moved to the US in 2013. She has worked as a manager at Ciel Spa Beverly Hills since 2019, according to her LinkedIn.

Since 2023, 63 people have been charged with treason in Russia with 37 having been found guilty. 

Image: Title: Karelina


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