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U.S. Navy veteran from Lansing released by Russia

Jonathan Franks
Taylor Dudley embraces his mother in Poland after being released from Russia.

Russia has released from its custody a U.S. Navy veteran from Lansing. Taylor Dudley had been held in the country since April 2022.

Dudley’s release from Kaliningrad, Russia was announced Jan. 12 by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and the Richardson Center.

In a release, the center said the team had traveled to Moscow and the region multiple time over the past year.

"The negotiations and work to secure Taylor’s safe return were done discreetly and with engagement on the ground in both Moscow and Kaliningrad and with full support from Taylor’s family back in the United States," the statement said.

The center negotiates for the release of American prisoners and hostages in hostile regimes or countries.

Dudley had been attending a music festival in Poland before crossing the border into Russia according to CNN, which first reported his release.

He was released Thursday at the Russia-Poland Bagrationovsk-Bezledy border crossing and is with his mother and a team from the Richardson Center. He’s currently on his way home.

In the same statement from the center, Richardson said despite the “current environment” between the U.S. and Russia, Russian authorities did the right thing.

In a statement, Jonathan Franks, a spokesperson for the Dudley family, said "the past 9 months have been difficult ones for the family, and they ask the media to respect their privacy and give them the space to welcome Taylor home."

Melorie Begay is the local producer and host of Morning Edition.
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