published13 January 2023, 10:53
MoscowUS Marine veteran released after nine months in Russia
American veteran Taylor Dudley (35) has been released after nine months in Russia. The 35-year-old illegally crossed the border into Kaliningrad last year.
Russia has released a US Navy veteran held for nine months. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said Taylor Dudley was handed over to the United States in Poland on Thursday. The 35-year-old apparently illegally crossed Poland’s border with the Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea last year.
The US State Department only stated that it was aware of reports about an American deported from Russia, but that it could only comment on the case to a limited extent for data protection reasons.
Dudley wanted to go to a music festival as a backpacker
Richardson said the US embassies in Warsaw and Moscow played a role in Dudley’s release. He even named several diplomats who are said to have been involved in the case. There was no prisoner exchange for Dudley, who the US did not consider unlawfully detained. This was different in the case of the American and basketball player Brittney Griner released in December. Im return came the Russian Arms dealer Viktor Bout frei.
The 35-year-old was reported missing in the US state of Michigan last year. A spokesman for his family said he backpacked to Europe, attended a music festival in Poland, eventually crossed the border into Kaliningrad and was arrested in April 2022.
Richardson, who has acted on several cases on behalf of the families of Americans held abroad, said it had been working for six months to get Dudley released, with the full support of his family in the US.