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Brother American detained in Russia, told about the life of Paul Whelan

David Whelan, the twin brother of the detainee in Moscow on suspicion of spying Paul Whelan, said that his brother has many friends in Russia, although he says he speaks Russian poorly.

Screenshot from video

He does not believe that his brother could break the law, writes with the BBC.

On December 31, the FSB reported that US citizen Paul Whelan was detained on December 28 "during a spy action." A case was initiated against him under Article 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (espionage).

On January 3, former US Marine Whelan was visited in the detention facility by US Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman.

David Whelan told him that he knew about the arrest of his brother.

“We learned about the arrest on Monday (December 31) in the morning, we knew for several days that something was wrong, he did not get in touch with the 28th, since Friday, and we spent the weekend without knowing what happened to him. I'm a librarian, on Monday morning I came to work, went to Google and started looking for all those scary things you look for when someone goes missing. And quickly came across the news, which said that he was detained on charges of allegedly committed acts of espionage, ”- said Whelan.

Twitter screenshot

According to him, after that he immediately contacted the family.

“We learned that the Russian authorities told the State Department that Paul was with them. And we started to do what I think they do when your relative is detained by the authorities of a foreign state - we started contacting congressmen, senators, the government and the embassy to find out when we will get access to him or when they will get access. Paul has criminal espionage charges in his case, and we need to help find him a criminal lawyer when the trial begins. All these things that suddenly had to be done. And tell the media about all this, inform that Paul was detained in Russia. And we really want him to just come home, ”said the American's brother.

The man also said that Paul Whelan has experience in law enforcement and service in the marines.

“Paul has a background in law enforcement, served in the Marine Corps, traveled several times to Iraq, and then in the last 5-10 years was involved in corporate security, which involved business trips from the company he worked for, facilities, manufacturing, or, in the case of Kelly Services, contracted travel. He just studied whether there are holes, whether there are risks to the company's property, places from which something can be stolen, ”said David.

Whelan enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1994, rose to the rank of Sergeant Major, and traveled to Iraq in 2004 and 2006. In 2008, he was fired from the military for misconduct and was accused of theft on several occasions.

Then Whelan worked at the consulting company Kelly Services, which is engaged in recruitment.

Until recently, Whelan was the security director of the American company BorgWarner, which supplies spare parts for cars. The company reported that they knew about the detention of Whelan, cooperated with the American authorities, and offered to send further requests to the State Department.

“He is a very kind and noble man, he is a wonderful brother. And I think that is why he, first of all, was in Moscow. A former Marine asked for his help, a friend was playing a wedding in Moscow, and Paul has been to Russia many times, he has traveled a lot from his company as a corporate security specialist and traveled for pleasure since we were teenagers. And so his friend asked: "Since you were in Russia, could you help us, our family is going to Russia, but have never been there." Just help with getting around, show sights and stuff.

And Paul agreed, he left on the 22nd to attend the wedding party and the 28th wedding itself. On the morning of the 28th, he was in the Kremlin at the Armory, he was on a tour with tickets, he helped the group, explained what he saw himself when he was there on the tour, and in the evening he did not appear at the wedding. And at that moment, the groom also realized that there was a problem, ”suggested David Whelan.

He added that his brother has a page in the Russian social network VKontakte.

“For years he made friends on social networks, I think, first in American, and now he has another page in“VK“. He has contacts in Russia and in other countries, and when he goes there, he meets with his friends, seems to have a good time, he often visited sights, he was in the Kremlin twice. I don't think Russia was a special place that he liked, I think he just liked to go there again to meet the people he met.

An American soldier with a VKontakte page, - said the brother of the detainee.

Paul Whelan actively used the Russian social network, he had 64 friends on VKontakte. Whelan also wrote in Russian on social media. However, according to his brother, he did not speak Russian.

“As far as I know, he did not speak Russian. He never spoke Russian to me. We have a family member who speaks Russian professionally, and he and Paul did not speak Russian, so I think he knew how to travel around Russia, how to order food and all that, but this is a tourist level of knowledge of the language ”, - said David.

Recall 28 December in Moscow, the FSB detained citizen United States Paul Whelan on suspicion of espionage. At the same time, Russia refused to explain what had become the basis for the arrest and nomination of such charges.

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