Russia Says It Arrested a 'US Spy' in Moscow

His name has been given as Paul Whelan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 31, 2018 5:55 AM CST

(Newser) – Russia's domestic security agency says it has arrested a US citizen on espionage charges. The Federal Security Service, or FSB, the top KGB successor agency, said that the American man was detained in Moscow on Friday. The agency in Monday's statement didn't elaborate beyond saying he was caught "during an espionage operation," which the New York Times reads as implying "he had been caught red-handed." The state Tass news agency identified the detained man as Paul Whelan.

Spying charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years in Russia. The US Embassy in Moscow had no immediate comment, reports the AP. The arrest comes as US-Russian ties have sunk to post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria, and the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. (Though Vladimir Putin did send President Trump a holiday greeting.)

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