Russian-US dual national detained in St. Petersburg on accusations of ‘vindicating Nazism’

The black and orange ribbon of St. George is attached to a pictures as people carrying portraits of deceased relatives who took part in World War Two march in a parade during Victory Day commemorations in  Almaty, Kazakhstan, May 9, 2016.  REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Russian-US national Yuri Malev is accused of posting an image of the St. George Ribbon, pictured in this file image, with a caption containing “coarse obscene language.”Shamil Zhumatov/ReutersCNN — 

A Russian-US dual national has been detained in St. Petersburg over accusations he showed “clear disrespect” toward the military and was therefore “vindicating Nazism” in social media posts, the Smolninsky District Court said in statement on Saturday.

The court said Yuri Malev had posted an image of the St. George Ribbon, a symbol of Russian military valour and glory, with a caption containing “coarse obscene language,” on the Russian social network Odnoklassniki on June 8, 2022.

Shortly before Russia’s Victory Day on May 8 this year, Malev posted another image that showed “a corpse with instructions on ‘how to properly wear the St. George’s ribbon’,” according to the court.

The court said that the image showed “clear disrespect” to society and the military and was an “insult to the memory” of World War II veterans.

Malev was detained and charged on December 8, the court statement said.

The court said Malev “partially admitted guilt” and will remain in custody until February 7.

Malev and his defense attorney have objected to the court’s ruling and suggested other “preventive measures,” such as house arrest or prohibition of certain actions, according to the court.

The US State Department said Saturday they are “aware of reports of the detention of a US Citizen in Russia” without naming the individual. When a US citizen is detained overseas, “the Department works to provide all appropriate assistance,” it said.

Several Americans and dual citizens are being held in Russia. Malev’s arrest follows the detention of another Russian-US dual national that emerged last month.

Alsu Kurmasheva, who is currently employed as a journalist and editor for the Tatar-Bashkir service of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), was charged with failing to register as a foreign agent, the US-funded news organization reported.

According to her employer, Kurmasheva was detained on June 2 in the city of Kazan in Russia while waiting for a return flight to the Czech Republic. She had arrived in Russia on May 20 due to an urgent family matter, RFE/RL said.

Russia arrested Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in March on accusations he tried to obtain state secrets – a charge Gershkovich, his employer and the US government have strenuously denied.

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