JRL NEWSWATCH: “Spy or Not? American Who Loves Russia Ensnared in New Cold War” – New York Times/ Julian E. Barnes, Neil MacFarquhar

File Photo of Russian Food and Nesting Dolls

“He loved to travel around Russia by train, collected tea glass holders stamped with Russian historical scenes and maintained social media friendships with ordinary Russians, from a hairstylist to retired members of the country’s military.  … Paul N. Whelan … former [U.S.] Marine and current security chief for [auto parts manufacturer] BorgWarner … has been accused of espionage by Russia and is in solitary confinement in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo Prison – long used by the K.G.B. and its successors for Soviet dissidents and foreign spies. British officials said … Whelan holds both British and American citizenship, and that both nations’ diplomatic services were trying to assist …. Both the United States and British governments refused to publicly discuss … Whelan’s status … former C.I.A. officers said they did not think he was a spy. … Russian authorities formally charged … Whelan, who could face up to 20 years …. Current and former officials said it was possible Mr. Whelan was seized to exchange him for Ms. Butina. …”

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[featured image at upper left of article is file photo from another occasion]