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About that dual-citizen ballerina from L.A. charged with treason in Putin’s Russia

Ksenia Khavana, 33, had returned to Russia to visit family Russia’s main domestic intelligence agency arrested a woman last month with dual U.S. and Russian citizenship on charges of treason, accusing her of collecting money for the Ukrainian military.

The Federal Security Service said in a statement last week that the Los Angeles resident had been arrested in the Ural Mountains region city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,100 miles, or 1,770 kilometers, east of Moscow.

“Russia’s Federal Security Service alleges that Khavana had been ‘proactively’ raising funds for a Ukrainian organization since February 2022.”

She had returned to Russia to visit family.

Authorities did not name the woman, but her longtime employer in California identified her as Ksenia Khavana.

Following is what is known about Khavana and Russia’s case against her.

Who is Ksenia Khavana? Khavana, 33, is a citizen of the U.S. and Russia.

The independent Russian news outlet Mediazona identified her as Ksenia Karelina, a name by which she also has been known, and said that she had received U.S. citizenship after marrying an American.

Isabella Koretz, owner of Ciel Spa at the Marriott-owned MAR, +0.05% hotel SLS Beverly Hills, where Khavana has worked for eight years, told the Associated Press that Khavana, a ballet dancer, came to the U.S. to study at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and later relocated to Los Angeles.

She said Khavana is now divorced and does not have any relatives in the U.S., but Koretz said she has grown close to Khavana over the years and treats her like “she’s family.”

According to Koretz, Khavana tried to see her family in Russia at least once a year, usually around Christmas and New Year’s. This year, Koretz said, Khavana flew into Russia from Istanbul in early January for a two-week trip to spend time with her 90-year-old grandmother, parents and younger sister.