Russia detains another US citizen as court brings serious charges

Moscow, Russia - Russia has detained and brought drug-related charges against US citizen Robert Woodland, who was apprehended by law enforcement earlier this month, a Moscow court said Tuesday.

US citizen Robert Woodland has been detained in Russia and charged with drug offenses.
US citizen Robert Woodland has been detained in Russia and charged with drug offenses.  © Collage: Facebook/Robert Woodland

Moscow is holding several American nationals on espionage and other charges as tensions between Russia and the US ballooned over the conflict in Ukraine.

"On January 6, the Ostankinsky District Court of Moscow ordered Robert Romanov Woodland to be placed in detention for a period of two months, until March 5, 2024," the court said on social media.

He is accused of the "illegal acquisition, storage, transportation, manufacture, processing" of drugs and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Russia ends monitoring of UN's North Korea sanctions amid reports of arms transfers
Russia Russia ends monitoring of UN's North Korea sanctions amid reports of arms transfers

Russian authorities have arrested several US citizens in recent years, with critics accusing Moscow of using detainees as bargaining chips to exchange Russians jailed in the US.

Paul Whelan, an ex-Marine, was sentenced in 2020 to 16 years in jail on spying charges that he denies.

In late March 2023, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich became the first Western journalist to be held on espionage charges in Russia since the Soviet era.

Alsu Kurmasheva, a US-Russian dual citizen who is also a journalist, was arrested in October. She has been charged with failing to register as a "foreign agent" and spreading misinformation.

In December 2022, Russia released basketball superstar Brittney Griner in exchange for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout – known as the "Merchant of Death" – who had been jailed in the US.

Cover photo: Collage: Facebook/Robert Woodland

More on Russia: