A U.S. Army soldier has been detained while traveling to Russia, the service confirmed on Monday.

“On May, 2, 2024, Russian authorities in Vladivostok, Russia, detained an American Soldier on charges of criminal misconduct,” Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said in a statement. “The Russian Federation notified the U.S. Department of State of the criminal detention in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.”

Staff Sgt. Gordon C. Black was in the process of transitioning from a unit in South Korea to Fort Cavazos, Texas, Task & Purpose has learned. No information was immediately available about why Black had traveled to Russia.

“The Army notified his family and the U.S. Department of State is providing appropriate consular support to the Soldier in Russia,” Smith said.  “Given the sensitivity of this matter, we are unable to provide additional details at this time.”

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NBC News first reported on Monday that Black had been detained over the weekend after being accused of stealing from a woman.

A National Security Council spokesperson confirmed to Task & Purpose on Monday that Russia had detained an American citizen.

“The State Department is actively seeking consular access to this individual, who was not in Russia on behalf of or in affiliation with the U.S. government,” the spokesperson said. “We take seriously our commitment to assist U.S. citizens abroad and provide all appropriate assistance. We reiterate our strong warnings about the danger posed to U.S. citizens in Russia. U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately, as stated in our Travel Advisory for Russia and U.S. citizens should not travel to Russia at this time – period.”

Relations between the United States and Russia have been at their worst since the Cold War following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Last month, Congress approved $61 billion in new military assistance for Ukraine, the first $1 billion of which will include air defense artillery, munitions, and other weapons systems.

This latest incident comes nearly a year after Army Pvt. Travis King crossed into North Korea after missing his flight to Texas, where he was expected to be punished for assault charges. North Korea ultimately decided to expel King, who was returned to U.S. custody in September.

CORRECTION: 05/07/2024; this story was corrected after publication to spell Army Staff Sgt. Gordon C. Black’s name correctly.

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