In November, the US Department of Justice said it had indicted six citizens of Russia and two citizens of Kazakhstan for their involvement in an advertising fraud scheme. Aleksandr Zhukov was among those indicted in the case.
"On January 18, 2019, Russian national A. Zhukov was extradited from Bulgaria to the United States… A. Zhukov is currently in a prison in Brooklyn, New York. The staff of the Russian consulate general in New York will visit their compatriot in prison in the near future and provide all the necessary consular assistance to him," the embassy said in a statement.
In late December, the FBI arrested a Russian citizen Dmitrii Makarenko on the US island territory of Guam over allegations of illegally exporting defense materials. The arrest warrant said Makarenko was indicted in June of 2017 for conspiracy to export defense articles without a license. In particular, the court's documents show that Makarenko was accused of attempting to export military-grade night vision and thermal vision devices, as well as ammunition primers, from the United States to Russia.
On 28 December Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers detained in Moscow US citizen Paul Whelan, 48, on charges of espionage. Whelan who also has Irish, Canadian and the UK citizenship, denies the charges and insists he came to Russia only to attend a friend’s wedding. A Moscow court will consider the appeal against Whelan's arrest on 22 January.
During the annual press conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed speculations that Whelan's arrest was a setup to push for his exchange for some Russian nationals detained abroad. He stressed that the man had been "caught in the act" in a hotel.