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US national found dead in Russian deportation center – media

The man did not possess valid medical insurance certificate required to stay in Russia, reports are saying

A US citizen sentenced to deportation from Russia over an administrative offense has been found dead at an immigrant detention center in the nation’s southern Krasnodar Region, Russian media reported on Monday.

The deceased has been identified in the reports as Ernest Harry Mitchell, 56. It is unclear when exactly he arrived in Russia. According to Sochi Central District Court data, Mitchell failed to produce a valid health insurance certificate during a routine ID check in mid-November, thus violating Russia’s rules of entry and stay.

In court, Mitchell claimed he considered a medical insurance certificate he had with him to be valid. He had called his insurance company before his trip to Russia and was told his certificate was valid “on the territory of any nation,” the man told the judge. He still pleaded guilty to violating Russia’s entry rules.


Later in the same month, Mitchell was sentenced to a fine of 3,000 rubles ($32.79) and to deportation from the territory of the Russian Federation, for the administrative offense. The man was then put into an immigrant detention center pending expulsion. He never appealed the decision, according to the court data.

His body was then found at the center on Monday night, the Russian daily Kommersant and RIA Novosti news agency reported, each citing a source within Russian law enforcement. According to media sources, the man is alleged to have ended his own life. An investigation into the incident has been launched.

READ MORE: Englishman stabbed in drunken Moscow ‘spy’ confrontation – media

According to RIA Novosti, Mitchell is believed to have been detained at Russia’s border with Abkhazia, where he supposedly sought to travel with a certain “sum of money” he had failed to declare.


Russian officials have so far not commented on the incident, nor have any US authorities.

December 05, 2023 at 01:43AM

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