2 American Mormons detained in Russia

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed the detention of Americans.

Two US citizens have been detained in the southern Russian city of Novorossiysk, the Russian Foreign Ministry told CNN on Wednesday.

“We can confirm information about the detention of a few US citizens,” Maria Zakharova said in response to a question about reports of the detention of two members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for the Mormon church, said authorities detained two church volunteers in Novorossiysk on Friday evening while they were at a local meetinghouse.

A US State Department also told CNN that two US citizens were being held in Novorossiysk, a port city on the Black Sea.

“We can confirm two US citizens were detained in Novorossiysk, Russia,” an official said in a statement Wednesday. “We have no higher priority than the protection of US citizens abroad. Due to privacy considerations, we do not have any additional information at this time.”

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