US soldier's estranged wife makes bombshell claims after Russia jails him for nearly four years: ‘She stabbed him’ - Hindustan Times
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US soldier's estranged wife makes bombshell claims after Russia jails him for nearly four years: ‘She stabbed him’

ByShweta Kukreti
Jun 19, 2024 05:23 PM IST

Gordon Black: A Russian court has awarded nearly four years jail term to a US soldier on charges of stealing and threatening to murder his girlfriend.

A Russian court has awarded nearly four years jail term to a US soldier on charges of stealing and threatening to murder his girlfriend, according to state news agency RIA Novosti. The court also imposed a fine of $456 on him.

Gordon Black, a U.S. Army staff sergeant, who was detained in Russia on May 2 on suspicion of stealing from a woman he was in a relationship with, appears in a court in Vladivostok, Russia, June 19, 2024. REUTERS/Tatiana Meel(REUTERS)
Gordon Black, a U.S. Army staff sergeant, who was detained in Russia on May 2 on suspicion of stealing from a woman he was in a relationship with, appears in a court in Vladivostok, Russia, June 19, 2024. REUTERS/Tatiana Meel(REUTERS)

Staff Sergeant Gordon Black was detained in May on suspicion of stealing at Vladivostok, where he arrived to meet a woman who was said to be his lover. He was accused of stealing $112 from her during their meeting in Russia in April. Black and Vashchuk first saw each other in South Korea, where he was serving to the Eighth Army at Camp Humphreys, TASS reported.

In addition, Black was charged with physically abusing the woman after a fight.

The US soldier admitted guilt to counts of theft but denied threatening to kill her.

Black's attorney stated on Wednesday that he would be appealing the verdict rendered by the Vladivostok court, as reported by TASS.

On Monday, Black told the Pervomaisky District Court that he took the money from the woman's handbag but gave her a $125 transfer the following day. According to RIA, he claimed to have used the funds for his meals and three nights at a hotel.

Additionally, he asked the woman to obtain a 10,000 ruble security deposit from the landlord following the conclusion of the apartment contract that he was paying for, according to RIA.

During her Monday appearance in the court, the woman said she was not yet prepared to make amends with Black since she had not received any compensation for the damage.

Alexandra Vashchuk, who was in a relationship with Gordon Black, a U.S. Army staff sergeant detained in Russia on May 2 on suspicion of stealing from her, speaks with reporters in front of a court building after a hearing, in Vladivostok, Russia, June 6, 2024. REUTERS/Tatiana Meel(REUTERS)
Alexandra Vashchuk, who was in a relationship with Gordon Black, a U.S. Army staff sergeant detained in Russia on May 2 on suspicion of stealing from her, speaks with reporters in front of a court building after a hearing, in Vladivostok, Russia, June 6, 2024. REUTERS/Tatiana Meel(REUTERS)

Was Gordon Black lured to Russia? Know more about his family in US

On April 10, Black, who is married and has a child, completed his tour as an Army trainer and was supposed to return to Fort Cavazos in Texas after signing a permanent change of station.

Despite returning to the US, Black boarded an aircraft to China and then travelled to Russia to meet Vashchuk.

Following his arrival in Vladivostok, he was pulled out from the aircraft and taken into custody on suspicion of stealing goods from an individual subsequently identified as Vashchuk.

Melody Jones, Black's mother, believes that her son had been lured to Russia by Vashchuk.

In May, Jones told NBC News that he went to Russia as he wanted to see her for the last time before returning to Texas. “I think she convinced him to come there.”

Jones expressed concern over Black visiting Russia as the Russian government “has been grabbing Americans.” She even warned his son regarding travelling to Russia. “I was more worried about him going to Russia than I was when he was in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Gordon Black's estranged wife breaks silence

Five months before Black and his wife filed for divorce, in January 2022, Megan Black first learned about his Russian girlfriend through their images posted on Facebook, in which Vashchuk referred to him as "her husband."

Megan Black claimed she was unaware of her husband's planned trip to Russia.

She said that Vashchuk and Black were in a constant state of argument and they were fighting like cats and dogs.

Black, according to his family, got into a heated dispute with his girlfriend while having a video chat with daughter. Vashchuk was seen on camera scratching at Black's face before grabbing a knife.

“She stabbed him,” Megan Black told Reuters, claiming that her daughter was distraught as Black “had blood on his face.”

Meanwhile, Vashchuk skipped the court hearing on Monday.

This comes amidst the ongoing tensions between US and Russia. The US State Department has strongly discouraged travel to Russia, which it classifies with nations like Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, and Sudan for having the highest level of danger.

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