A US Navy veteran who had been detained in Russia for nine months was released on Thursday, according to US officials and others familiar with the matter.
Taylor Dudley, 35, of Michigan, had been held since April in the Russian province of Kaliningrad, located between Poland and Lithuania. He was released at a border crossing with Poland and was traveling to the United States with a team working for former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, according to a statement from his center, which negotiates for the release of hostages and prisoners abroad.
US officials confirmed the release. It appeared that the US government did not reciprocate with the release of any Russian prisoners, as it has in the past, including with professional basketball player Brittney Griner who was exchanged for Viktor Bout.
A US official described the release as the result of consular negotiations and was unaware of any role played by outside parties.
"The US Government has no information about a role played by any outside actor in this case. The US Government is focused on providing consular services to Americans. We are all grateful to our embassies in Moscow and Warsaw for their long-standing work on this case," the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe internal negotiations.
Dudley reportedly had been attending a music festival in Poland when he was detained. It was not clear why he crossed the border into the Russian province.
CNN first reported Dudley's release.