Who is Trevor Reed? Why the marine was in Russia and why he was detained, explained

Trevor Reed in Russia (Image via Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)
Trevor Reed in Russia (Image via Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)
Abhirup Sengupta

On Wednesday, April 27, former US Marine Trevor Reed was released from Russia as a part of their prisoner exchange program with the US. His release comes two years after a Russian court sentenced him.

In 2019, Reed was accused of assaulting a Russian police officer in Moscow after being drunk at the time. On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden also tweeted about Reed's release and mentioned:

"I was delighted to be able to share with his family the good news about Trevor's freedom."
Today, we welcome home Trevor Reed and celebrate his return to the family that missed him dearly. A former U.S. Marine, he is now free from Russian detention. I was delighted to be able to share with his family the good news about Trevor’s freedom.

The President also stated:

"I'm grateful for the work of many across our government. Trevor's safe return is a testament to the priority we place on bringing home Americans held hostage and wrongfully detained abroad."

What is known about former US Marine Trevor Reed?


Trevor Reed is a 30-year-old Texas resident who lived in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. According to a website that campaigned for his return, Reed grew up in Tehachapi, California. Following his high school graduation, he moved to Texas to attend college. He is also reported to be an Eagle Scout.

As insinuated by the website 'Free Trevor Reed,' it seems that Reed dropped out of college at some point and joined the Marine Corps. After his service, Reed was honorably discharged. The former Marine then rejoined college in 2017.

At the time, Trevor Reed was pursuing an International Studies degree at the University of North Texas. It is also reported that the reason for his travel to Russia was his girlfriend Alina, who was a Russian native he met in 2016. According to the website, Reed visited Moscow in May 2019 to learn Russian and meet his girlfriend. While it is reported that Reed's family loves Alina, it is not confirmed if the two are still together.

Reasons for him being detained in Russia


On August 16, 2019, Reed attended a party with his girlfriend Alina, where the former Marine was reportedly offered large quantities of vodka. Following the allegations of being drunk and endangering the life of Russian police officers, Reed was arrested in Moscow. Later, he was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment in 2020.

As per his father's claims to Newsweek:

"The (Russian) judge refused to hear any of the evidence, and they had already decided what they're going to do. They gave him the longest sentence for that charge in modern Russian history."

30-year-old Trevor Reed recently initiated a hunger strike in the Russian prison for not being treated for his tuberculosis at the time. Meanwhile, his parents protested in front of the White House before successfully meeting President Joe Biden. This prisoner swap comes as tensions between Russia and many Ukraine-supporting nations are at their highest since the Cold War.

Edited by Siddharth Satish


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