MOSCOW (Reuters) - Paul Whelan, the former U.S. Marine held in Moscow on spying charges, had online contact with more than 20 Russians with military backgrounds, an analysis of social media shows.
Russian men with military education or a history of military service make up nearly half of Whelan's more than 50 friends on VK, a popular Russian social network that resembles Facebook, the analysis by Reuters shows.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is looking into a Marine for allegedly making comments on Facebook blaming sexual violence on young girls, a 2nd Marine Logistics Group spokesman told Task & Purpose.
Master Sgt. Mark McBride made the comments on Sunday as part of a discussion about rap artist R. Kelly, who has been accused of statutory rape in a recent documentary.
Paul Whelan, the U.S. citizen and former Marine detained in Russia on espionage charges, was reportedly convicted of attempting to steal roughly ten grand from Uncle Sam while deployed to Iraq in 2006, according to the Washington Post.