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Chris Van Heerden’s Girlfriend Detained By Russian Authorities

Posted on 02/21/2024

By: Sean Crose

Former IBO welterweight Champion Chris Van Heerden announced on social media Tuesday that his girlfriend has been detained by Russian authorities. “It deeply saddens me to share with you the distressing news that my girlfriend is currently being held in a Russian detention center,” he wrote. “This incredibly difficult situation has been ongoing for several weeks now, during which I was unable to openly discuss it. However, yesterday, the Russian government made this information public.”

Van Heerden went on to express how difficult the situation has been while indicating that he feels responsible to do what he can. “I must admit that I am facing immense struggles,” he wrote, “but I am determined to stay strong and do everything within my power to bring her back to America. It is a constant battle, but I refuse to give up.” Ultimately, Van Heerden asked the public to turn to the Almighty. “I kindly ask for your prayers,” he wrote, “as her strength and courage are being tested to the utmost. Let us collectively pray that she remains unbroken throughout this ordeal….thank you all for your unwavering support. #FreeKsenia

According to News Nation, “Russia’s FSB said Tuesday it had detained a woman, since identified as 33-year-old Ksenia Karelina, in the Urals mountain city of Yekaterinburg on suspicion of treason, according to a report by state news agency TASS,” The outlet also claimed “the Los Angeles resident had been placed in pretrial detention after donating money to the Ukrainian military.” News Nation quotes an official at the American Embassy in Moscow as stating: “We are aware of the reports; however, due to privacy considerations, we have nothing further to convey at this moment.”

Per News Nation, the FSB claimed it had “suppressed the illegal activities of a 33-year-old resident of Los Angeles, who has dual citizenship of Russia and the United States of America, involved in providing financial assistance to a foreign state in activities directed against the security of our country.” Van Heerden provided footage of a young woman, who is apparently Karelina, being led down a hallway by a uniformed individual with a winter hat covering her eyes.

“Since February 2022,” the FSB stated, “she (Kalerina) “has been proactively collecting funds in the interests of one of the Ukrainian organizations, which were subsequently used to purchase tactical medicine items, equipment, weapons and ammunition by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.” Although details of the case have not been presented, Russia’s reputation for committing human rights abuses no doubt makes for an extremely worrying scenario for Van Heerden and those friends and relatives who are close to Kalerina.

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