US-Russian Dual National Detained for ‘Rehabilitating Nazism’

A man with dual U.S.-Russian nationality has been placed in pre-trial custody in St. Petersburg for “rehabilitating Nazism” in posts on social media, the city’s court service said Saturday. 

Yuri Malev was charged over posts in which he was alleged to have denigrated the St. George’s ribbon, a symbol of Russian military valor. One contained obscene language and the other showed a picture of a corpse wearing the ribbon. 

The court service said this showed disrespect for society and insulted the memory of the Great Patriotic War, as Russians refer to World War II. 

The U.S. State Department said it was aware of the reported detention but had no further comment on the case. Representatives for Malev could not be immediately reached. 

‘Partially admitted guilt’

The court service statement said Malev, who was detained in St. Petersburg on Friday, had “partially admitted guilt,” but did not elaborate. He was placed in custody until February 7. 

Several Americans and dual citizens are being held in Russia, including former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan and Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich. Earlier this week, the State Department said Russia had rejected a substantial proposal to release both men, who have been charged with spying, an allegation the United States has denied. 

Last week, a Russian court extended the pre-trial detention of Russian-American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, charged with failing to register as a “foreign agent,” an offense that carries up to five years in prison.