Russia: Detained American Citizen Broke Into Children’s Library Undressed

An American citizen, William Russell Nycum, has been detained in Moscow, Russia, on allegations of breaking into a children’s library and undressing himself. According to a Moscow court, Nycum was found intoxicated and naked in the library yard, displaying what authorities deemed as “obvious disrespect for society, citizens, and public order.” He was subsequently detained by police officers in accordance with administrative offense protocols.

The U.S. Embassy in Russia has acknowledged Nycum’s detention and expressed its commitment to providing consular assistance to American citizens abroad. However, citing privacy considerations, the embassy declined to comment further on the case. Nycum’s detention comes amid another incident involving an American citizen, Staff Sergeant Gordon Black, who was detained in the Russian Far East.

Black, stationed in South Korea, allegedly traveled to Vladivostok without authorization to meet a woman he was romantically involved with. He was arrested after purportedly attacking and robbing her. Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, raised concerns about Black’s situation, suggesting that he could be viewed as a “hostage.” This assertion draws parallels to the case of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been detained since 2023.

Former President Donald Trump has weighed in on the matter, blaming President Joe Biden’s perceived weakness and incompetence for the ongoing detentions of American citizens in Russia. Trump has vowed to secure Gershkovich’s release if reelected, emphasizing the need for stronger leadership in handling diplomatic issues with Russia.

The detention of Nycum underscores the complexities and challenges faced by American citizens traveling or residing abroad, particularly in countries with strained diplomatic relations. As the situation unfolds, there is heightened scrutiny on the diplomatic efforts to ensure the well-being and rights of detained individuals.

Efforts by diplomatic channels, including those led by the U.S. Embassy in Russia, will continue to be closely monitored as authorities work to address the legal and diplomatic implications of Nycum’s detention and similar cases involving American citizens abroad.