Report: US Navy veteran released from Russian custody
(Gray News) - A U.S. Navy veteran has been released from Russian custody after nearly a year of negotiations, according to media reports from CNN and the Washington Post.
CNN reported 35-year-old Taylor Dudley, of Lansing, Michigan, was detained by Russian border patrol police in April 2022 after he crossed from Poland to Kaliningrad, a territory governed by Moscow. Dudley was in Poland attending a music festival, and it is unclear why he crossed the border.
The U.S. government said Dudley’s detainment was not deemed “wrongful,” according to CNN.
A spokesperson for his family told CNN Dudley was released at the Russia-Poland Bagrationovsk-Bezledy border crossing on Thursday, following months of negotiations spearheaded by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and his nonprofit organization, the Richardson Center for Global Engagement.
The center reported there was not an exchange on the U.S. side for Dudley.
The U.S. State Department, the Steve Menzies Global Foundation and the US Embassies in Moscow and Warsaw helped secure Dudley’s release, CNN reported.
Dudley’s detainment was not widely publicized until his release per his family’s request so that negotiations could remain private, since the U.S. government said that his detainment was not classified as wrongful.
His release comes months after the U.S. government negotiated the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was detained in Russia in February 2022.
Paul Whelan, another American the State Department deemed to be “wrongfully detained,” remains in Russian custody. He was detained in December 2018.
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