American detained in Russia for allegedly violating public order, Moscow court says

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(LONDON) — An American visiting Russia was detained for allegedly “violating public order” and remanded in custody for 10 days, a Moscow court said Tuesday.

William Russell Nycum had been drinking with friends at a bar before allegedly climbing into a children’s library in Moscow, REN TV, a local television station, first reported on Monday.

“In accordance with the protocol on an administrative offense, a U.S. citizen drank alcoholic beverages, then was found in the yard, naked, expressed obvious disrespect for society, citizens and public order, for which he was detained by police officers,” a Moscow court said Tuesday.

Nycum allegedly began to undress once he was inside the library, the station reported.

The TV station published a video that it said showed Nycum near the library, along with photos that it said showed his belongings inside the library. One photo appeared to show a shattered window.

The station also published a photo that appeared to show Nycum’s visa to enter Russia.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has “no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas,” a spokesperson said Tuesday.

“We are aware of reports that a U.S. citizen has been detained in Russia,” the spokesperson said. “We take seriously our commitment to assist U.S. citizens abroad and provide all appropriate consular assistance. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”

A U.S. soldier was separately detained in Vladivostok, Russia, on Thursday on charges of criminal misconduct, according to the U.S. Army.

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