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Russia sentences U.S. soldier to almost 4 years in penal colony

A Russian court sentenced an American soldier Wednesday to three years and nine months in a penal colony after finding him guilty of theft and threatening to kill his Russian girlfriend, state media reported.

Prosecutors said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gordon Black, 34, stole 10,000 rubles ($120) from his girlfriend Alexandra Vashchuk and grabbed her by the neck, which she considered a threat to her life, Interfax reported. The sentencing took place at Vladivostok's Pervomaisky District Court, in Russia's far east.

Black met Vashchuk in South Korea, where he was stationed until April, and began a romantic relationship with her. After she returned to Russia without him, he followed her there without notifying his commanders or getting permission.


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