Russia detains American in Moscow over alleged spying

The arrest came with Moscow embroiled in a number of spy scandals with the west. Stock

The arrest came with Moscow embroiled in a number of spy scandals with the west. Stock

Russia's FSB state security agency says it has arrested a U.S. citizen "caught spying" in Moscow.

FSB opened a criminal case under the article pertaining to espionage.

The domestic security agency the detained individual as Paul Whelan. Butina pled guilty last week to a conspiracy charge, but Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the charges as a "lie", saying, "I don't understand what they jailed her for". No other details were given.

The US Embassy in Moscow could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Relations between the United States and Russia remain strained over a raft of issues including Russia's role in wars in Syria and eastern Ukraine, its alleged meddling in elections in the United States and elsewhere, and the poisoning of a Russian double agent in Britain. A criminal investigation was launched against the man.

The detention of Whelan comes weeks after a Russian woman pleaded guilty in a USA court to acting as an agent for the Kremlin.

According to Reuters, the man was allegedly arrested on December 28th, but neither the United States nor Russian Federation have commented on the nature of his alleged spying activity. In recent months the FSB has reported an increase of western-led espionage within Russian borders at a time when the country is also facing allegations of spying and interference in Europe and the US.

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