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Russia arrests woman holding dual citizenship for alleged treason in fundraising for Ukraine

Moscow [Russia]: The Federal Security Service (FSB) in Yekaterinburg, Russia, arrested a 33-year-old woman holding dual Russian and US citizenship, accusing her of committing 'treason' by raising funds for Ukraine, Al Jazeera reported.

The woman, a resident of Los Angeles, was detained for allegedly providing financial assistance to a Ukrainian organisation involved in activities deemed detrimental to Russia's security.

The FSB's statement, carried by Russian media, revealed that since February 2022, the accused had been actively collecting money intended for a Ukrainian group. The funds were purportedly directed towards supporting the Ukrainian armed forces through the acquisition of tactical medical items, equipment, weapons, and ammunition, as reported by Al Jazeera.

The woman allegedly participated in multiple public demonstrations in the United States in solidarity with Ukraine, a country that has received financial and military support from a Western coalition following Russia's invasion in February 2022.

A video released by Russian state media showed FSB officers in hooded attire escorting and handcuffing the woman, who was dressed in a white coat with a white hat pulled down over her eyes.

Treason charges in Russia carry a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

This arrest adds to the list of US nationals currently imprisoned in Russia. Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was arrested last year on espionage charges that he, the US outlet, and the US government have vehemently denied.

Another Russian-American journalist, Alsu Kurmasheva, has been in prison since October, facing charges of failing to register as a "foreign agent" and spreading "false information" about Russia's military campaign in Ukraine.

Notably, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently expressed openness to a potential prisoner swap involving Gershkovich as a "gesture of goodwill."

This statement comes amid ongoing tension between the two nations, with Russia and Ukraine having completed several rounds of prisoner exchanges in recent months, including a notable exchange of 100 prisoners of war earlier this month, Al Jazeera reported. 

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