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Bulgaria Extradites Russian National to US - Russian Embassy

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian embassy in the United States said that A. Zhukov had been charged with conspiring for the purposes of carrying out computer fraud, noting that the consulate general staff would visit him in the US jail in the near future.

In November, the US Department of Justice said it had indicted six citizens of Russia and two citizens of Kazakhstan for their involvement in an advertising fraud scheme. Aleksandr Zhukov was among those indicted in the case.

"On January 18, 2019, Russian national A. Zhukov was extradited from Bulgaria to the United States… A. Zhukov is currently in a prison in Brooklyn, New York. The staff of the Russian consulate general in New York will visit their compatriot in prison in the near future and provide all the necessary consular assistance to him," the embassy said in a statement.

This courtroom sketch depicts Maria Butina, in orange suit, a 29-year-old gun-rights activist suspected of being a covert Russian agent, listening to her attorney Robert Driscoll, standing, as he speaks to Judge Deborah Robinson, left, during a hearing in federal court in Washington, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik Kenerson, bottom left, and co-defense attorney's Alfred Carry, right, listen. Prosecutors say Butina was likely in contact with Kremlin operatives while living in the United States. And prosecutors also are accusing her of using sex and deception to forge influential connections - Sputnik International
Kremlin on Potential Butina-Whelan Exchange: Russia Never Uses People as Pawns
In late December, the FBI arrested a Russian citizen Dmitrii Makarenko on the US island territory of Guam over allegations of illegally exporting defense materials. The arrest warrant said Makarenko was indicted in June of 2017 for conspiracy to export defense articles without a license. In particular, the court's documents show that Makarenko was accused of attempting to export military-grade night vision and thermal vision devices, as well as ammunition primers, from the United States to Russia.

On 28 December Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers detained in Moscow US citizen Paul Whelan, 48, on charges of espionage. Whelan who also has Irish, Canadian and the UK citizenship, denies the charges and insists he came to Russia only to attend a friend’s wedding. A Moscow court will consider the appeal against Whelan's arrest on 22 January.

READ MORE: Brother of Whelan Claims Russia Postponed US Diplomats’ Planned Visit

During the annual press conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed speculations that Whelan's arrest was a setup to push for his exchange for some Russian nationals detained abroad. He stressed that the man had been "caught in the act" in a hotel.

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