“Whelan’s family denies the claims and have said they fear for his safety. Whelan was in Moscow to attend the wedding of a fellow former Marine, his family said.” WaPo: American Paul Whelan charged with espionage in Russia.

+ “Whelan’s detainment comes about two weeks after 30-year-old Russian national Maria Butina, who was arrested on charges of conspiracy and acting as an agent of a foreign government in July 2018, admitted to participating in a campaign backed by Russian officials to secretly influence US politics, including trying to sway the Republican Party to be more receptive to Russia. Some experts have speculated that Whelan’s arrest may be an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to retaliate.” Vox: Russia detained an American for espionage. Here’s what we know.

+ Observers will be anxious to see how President Trump reacts to the charges (and whether the CIA and State Department will react similarly). In the meantime, David Frum wonders why Trump is spouting Russian propaganda when it comes to the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan.