LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Paul Whelan, a 53-year-old American veteran, was arrested in in Russia on December 28, 2018 after being accused of spying while he worked as director of global security and investigations for BorgWarner, an automotive parts manufacturer based in Michigan. He’s been held “hostage” by the Kremlin, according to his twin brother, David, for 1705 days in a Mordovia labor colony.

However, it wasn’t until recently that Paul’s family was able to see him in a video. According to an email to the press, David, said on Monday that the video was “the first time I’ve seen what he really looks like since June 2020.” He went on to say, “So thank you, Russia Today (RT), because although your reporting is the worst sort of propaganda and you are the mouthpiece for war criminals, at least I could see what Paul looks like after all of these years.”

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According to the Rand Corporation, a non-partisan American nonprofit global policy think tank and research institute, state-controlled RT is one of Russia’s primary multimedia news providers. With a budget of more than $300 million per year, it broadcasts in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, and several Eastern European languages and has been described as a major propaganda outlet for the Russian government and its foreign policy.

David, a vocal advocate for his brother, along with their sister Elizabeth has a dedicated website to support his brother as well as a media email list for updates regarding Paul’s incarceration and the efforts of the United States government to bring him home. In his recent email update, David provided a link for everyone to see the interview that was done by RT showing Paul in the Russian prison.

David says about the video, “My favorite moment is at 5:48 when he stares right at the camera.  I see strength and determination and contempt. For those of you who have been asking about his work conditions or living conditions, you’ll find plenty of B-roll in this clip (secondary video footage).”

David says about the video of Paul on RT, “I wish I could see Paul under better circumstances. But it was good to see him again and to see the fight remains in his eyes. It is good to know Paul remains unbowed.”

Meanwhile, efforts to bring home wrongfully detained Americans from Russia by the U.S. government continue. On August 14th, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, made a visit to Russia and met with jailed 31-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. This was Tracy’s third visit to see Gershkovich.

State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said about the trip, “Ambassador Tracy said that Evan appears in good health and remains strong, despite his very challenging circumstances. Embassy officials will continue to provide all appropriate support to Evan and his family. And we expect Russian authorities to provide continued consular access. Once again, we call on the Russian Federation to immediately release Evan Gershkovich, as well as fellow, wrongfully detained, U.S. citizen, Paul Whelan.”

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken had called Paul Whelan on August 16th. In the call, as reported by CNN, a source said that Blinken told Whelan “keep the faith and we’re doing everything we can to bring you home as soon as possible.”

David said about the call, “The call sends a message. To Paul, and to our family, it is yet another extraordinary show of the U.S. government’s ongoing commitment to secure Paul’s release.”