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Southland woman arrested by Russian authorities


Accused of financial support to Ukraine

A Los Angeles woman was arrested in Russia and accused of providing financial support to Ukraine, Russian security officials announced this week.

The Russian Federal Security Service identified the woman only as a 33-year-old Los Angeles resident with dual Russian and American citizenship. According to the agency, she “was involved in providing financial assistance to a foreign state in activities directed against the security of our country.’’

“Since February 2022, she has proactively collected funds in the interests of one of the Ukrainian organizations, which were subsequently used to purchase tactical medicine, equipment, weapons and ammunition by the Ukrainian Armed Forces,’’ according to the Federal Security Service. “In addition to the United States, this citizen repeatedly took part in public actions in support of the Kyiv regime.’’

A Russian news website identified the woman as Ksenia Karelina Khavana, who is believed to have obtained U.S. citizenship in 2021 when she married an American. Various media reports indicated that she donated a total of about $51 to a Ukrainian human-rights organization in February 2022, on the same day Russia invaded Ukraine.

A ballet dancer, Khavana’s social media pages indicate she received her dance training at the S.P. Diaghilev School in Yekaterinburg in Russia, graduated from Ural Federal University then began dancing in Baltimore in 2014. According to her LinkedIn page, she has been a manager at Ciel Spa Beverly Hills at the SLS Hotel since 2019.

White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday that federal officials are “trying to get more information’’ about the woman’s arrest. He also warned Americans “about the danger posed to U.S. citizens inside Russia,’’ urging American citizens to leave the country.