Taylor Dudley, US Navy Veteran, who was detained in Russia for over a year has been released from the nation’s custody, his family informed CNN. This comes after talks were held to negotiate his release headed by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
The 35 year old Veteran returns home after he was detained by the Russian border patrol police in April of 2022, as he crossed Poland and entered Kaliningrad, which is a Russian exclave governed by Moscow.
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He went to Poland to attend a music festival, however it is not clear why he crossed the border.
Who is Taylor Dudley?
Dudley’s detention was not deemed “wrongful” or influenced by “arbitrary and discriminatory motivations” by the US government. The detention process has not been widely publicized due to the family’s request to keep the negotiations private.
It was the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, a non-profit founded by Richardson that spearheaded the entire negotiations to his release, Jonathan Franks, the family spokesperson informed CNN.
“No exchange was made on the US side for Dudley,” said Mickey Bergman, the center’s vice president and executive president.
Franks added that The Steve Menzies Global Foundation and the US embassy helped facilitate Dudley’s release.
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“Earlier today, Russian authorities released American Citizen Taylor Dudley, a 35-year-old Navy veteran, across the Polish border to Gov. Bill Richardson, his team, and a representative from the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, a release the Richardson Center worked on diligently and quietly for more than 6 months with significant assistance from the Steve Menzies Global Foundation, from Hostage U.S., and from the James Foley Foundation. The family will be forever grateful for the work of all three,” said Franks.
Richardson issued a separate statement to CNN, in which he revealed that Dudley was released at Russia-Poland Bagrationovsk-Bezledy border crossing on Thursday.
“We worked it hard in Moscow and Kaliningrad and first raised it during our meetings with Russian officials on Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed,” he told CNN.
Griner and Reed have been released from Russian detention, but Wheelan still remains in its custody.