Russian-American Ballerina Goes on Trial in Russia For Alleged Treason After Donating to Ukraine

Russian-American Ballerina Goes on Trial in Russia For Alleged Treason After Donating to Ukraine
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Kse¬≠nia Kare¬≠li¬≠na, a Russ¬≠ian-Amer¬≠i¬≠can bal¬≠le¬≠ri¬≠na liv¬≠ing in the US, went on tri¬≠al in Rus¬≠sia on June 20, 2024 after being charged with treason. 

She faces 12 years to life in prison for alleged­ly donat­ing funds to sup­port Ukraine amid the ongo­ing war with Russia.

Kare­li­na, who is in her ear­ly 30s, was born in Rus­sia but has lived in the US since 2012. She was vis­it­ing fam­i­ly in Yeka­ter­in­burg, Rus­sia in Jan­u­ary 2022 when she was detained by the Russ­ian Fed­er­al Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice (FSB).

Ksenia Karelina smiling

The FSB ini­tial­ly arrest­ed her on a minor hooli­gan­ism charge but lat­er upgrad­ed it to trea­son. They claim she donat­ed mon­ey to Razom for Ukraine, a non-prof­it that pro­vides non-mil­i­tary aid to Ukraine.

Kare­li­na’s for­mer moth­er-in-law Eleono­ra Sre­bros­ki said the dona­tion was small and that Kare­li­na had assured her boyfriend it was safe to trav­el to Rus­sia. Pri­or to her arrest, Kare­li­na lived in Los Ange­les and worked as an aesthetician.

Ksenia Karelina held by military

Her tri­al is being held behind closed doors, as is com­mon for trea­son cas­es in Rus­sia. Con­vic­tions are rare and she faces 12 years to life if found guilty. Video showed her appear­ing calm yet ner­vous in a glass court enclosure.

Kare­li­na immi­grat­ed to the US in 2012 on a work-study pro­gram. She became a nat­u­ral­ized US cit­i­zen and had cut ties to Russ­ian pol­i­tics, say friends and fam­i­ly. Her arrest high­lights grow­ing diplo­mat­ic ten­sions between Rus­sia and coun­tries sup­port­ing Ukraine.

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