Russia frees a former US soldier detained for nine months – USA – International

Russia on Thursday released a US Army veteran who had been detained at a border post with Poland for nine months, US negotiator and former politician Bill Richardson announced.

Taylor Dudley was one of several Americans detained in Russia whom Richardson and US authorities were seeking to release.

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Taylor Dudley hugging her mother after the release.

“Just today, Russian authorities released US citizen Taylor Dudley, a 35-year-old Navy veteran, across the Polish border to Governor Bill Richardson, his team and a representative from the US Embassy in Warsaw,” said Jonathan Flanks, a spokesman for Taylor Dudley’s family.

In addition, Flanks added that the Richardson organization, which led the negotiations, has been working for six months on the release of the ex-military since his capture in April 2022.

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The Richardson Center for Global Engagement is a non-profit organization of former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

“The family asks the media to respect their privacy and give them the space they need to welcome Taylor home,” the spokesperson concluded in his message posted on social media.

Taylor Dudley, from Michigan State, was detained by the Russian border police in April 2022 after crossing from Poland into Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave that is territory governed by Moscow.

He was in Poland enjoying a music event and the reasons for crossing the border are still unknown.

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Although the Richardson organization had kept the negotiations secret, the US government had not made any statements regarding the case either.

Furthermore, for the United States no trade was made for Dudleysaid Mickey Bergman, vice president of the center and CEO of the Richardson Center.

The Release of Taylor Dudley occurs just over a month after the prisoner exchange between basketball star Brittney Grinner, and Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Meanwhile, Paul Whelan, a former Marine arrested in 2018 in Moscow and since then sentenced to 16 years in prison for espionage, is still being held in a Russian prison and the negotiations for his release continue without giving a positive result.

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Santiago Andres Venera Salazar


*With information from AFP

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