American Soldier Heads to Putin’s Gulag

PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek /
PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek /

In a tale that sounds more like a case of a honeypot trap gone wrong, a US soldier has been arrested in Russia. Detained on allegations of robbing a woman he was allegedly dating, he is now heading to Putin’s Gulag as he awaits trial. Identified by the US Army as Stagg Sergeant Gordon Black, he was stationed in South Korea and reportedly headed to his next duty station following his assignment there.

Officials claim he made an unauthorized trip to Vladivostok, Russia, on the way to that station and never informed or got permission from superiors before going there to visit a woman he was in a relationship with.

A romantic interest from another nation is rarely an issue; however, places like Russia or China are considered to be high-risk nations for members of the US military to have affiliations. Trips to these countries or romantic relationships with their citizens can be highly frowned upon unless thoroughly vetted.

In a statement, US Army spokesperson Cynthia O. Smith said, “The Russian Federation notified the U.S. Department of State of the criminal detention in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The Army notified his family, and the U.S. Department of State is providing appropriate consular support to the Soldier in Russia. Given the sensitivity of this matter, we are unable to provide additional details at this time.”

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) is incredibly troubled by Black being held by the Russians. Using the unfortunate opportunity to advocate for travel awareness for all Americans, he will hopefully be using his office to get this soldier freed. Now, joining multiple other Americans who are being held there, Black is likely to have a miserable experience until he gets to come home.