Russian State Media Says Detained US Soldier Admitted Guilt

Russian officials last week claimed that the US Army staff sergeant who was arrested in Eastern Russia earlier this month for theft has pleaded guilty to the charge.

Staff Sgt. Gordon Black was detained by authorities in Vladivostok on May 2 while visiting his Russian girlfriend.

According to US Army officials, Black left his base in South Korea without permission and traveled to Russia shortly before he was to return to the United States.

Black first met the woman in South Korea and their relationship continued after she returned to Vladivostok, with the two exchanging online messages and chats.

The local section of the Department of Internal Affairs said Black arrived in Vladivostok on April 10 and was taken into custody at his hotel after his girlfriend contacted the police to report a theft.

According to officials, Black and his 32-year-old girlfriend got into an argument at her home. After Black left, the woman reportedly noticed that she was missing some money. She called the police who tracked Black down at his hotel.

Black, who had already purchased a ticket to leave Russia, was ordered into pre-trial detention on May 2 where he is expected to remain in custody until his July 2 trial.

According to spokeswoman Irina Syrova of the Primorsky region’s Department of Internal Affairs, Black pleaded guilty to the charge of theft and was cooperating with authorities.

Black’s court-appointed lawyer last weekend appealed his detention.

According to the Army, Black was under pre-trial confinement for allegedly stealing from a woman at the time he traveled to Vladivostok. The Army did not confirm that the woman involved in the alleged theft was the same woman Black went to visit in Russia.

Black’s estranged wife Megan said in a recent interview that her soon-to-be ex-husband’s relationship with the Russian was volatile. She claimed that she witnessed an argument between the two during a video call with Black. Megan claimed that Black’s girlfriend scratched at him and tried to stab him with a knife.