U.S. Citizen arrested in Russia on drug charges

The U.S. national will be held in a Russian prison for months while an investigation is held.

A U.S. citizen named Robert Woodland Romanov has been arrested in Moscow on drug charges.

Driving the news: The arrest was made by the Moscow courts, which ruled to keep Romanov in custody for two months pending an official investigation into his alleged involvement in illegal drug trafficking.


  • The U.S. State Department is aware of the reports but refrained from further comment, citing privacy considerations. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a similar statement.
  • In the interview, the man mentioned that he was born in Russia and adopted by an American couple. He later moved back to Russia, settled in a town near Moscow, and worked as an English teacher.

The backstory: The news comes amid efforts by the U.S. government to secure the release of other jailed Americans in Russia, such as Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich.

  • Moscow could potentially be using the detained Americans as bargaining chips in the current tense climate between Russia and the United States.
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