Russia arrests Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on espionage charges

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Thursday, March 30, 2023 10:17 am

Wall Street Journal reporter arrested in Russia

Russia’s top security agency has arrested an American reporter for the Wall Street Journal on espionage charges, the first time a US correspondent has been put behind bars on espionage charges since the Cold War.

The Federal Security Service said on Thursday that Evan Gershkovich was arrested in the Ural city of Yekaterinburg while allegedly trying to obtain classified information.

The Wall Street Journal said in a statement it was deeply concerned for Gershkovich’s safety. The arrest comes amid bitter tensions between Moscow and Washington over fighting in Ukraine.

Gershkovich is the first American reporter to be arrested for espionage in Russia since September 1986, when Nicholas Daniloff, a Moscow correspondent for US News and World Report, was arrested by the KGB. He was released 20 days later without charge in exchange for an employee of the United Nations Mission to the Soviet Union who was arrested by the FBI.

The FSB, the supreme successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB, claimed that Gershkovich “acted on US orders to gather information on the activities of one of the companies of the Russian military-industrial complex that constitute a state secret.”

Authorities did not say when the arrest took place. If convicted of espionage, Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in prison.

Gershkovich is a correspondent in the Wall Street Journal’s Moscow bureau covering Russia, Ukraine and other states of the former Soviet Union.

The FSB noted that he was accredited by the Russian Foreign Ministry to work as a journalist, but Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Gershkovich used his journalistic credentials as a cover for “activities unrelated to journalism.” .

Its latest report from Moscow, released earlier this week, focused on the slowdown in Russia’s economy amid Western sanctions imposed when Russian troops invaded Ukraine last year.

Gershkovich’s arrest follows a December swap that saw WNBA star Brittney Griner released after 10 months behind bars in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Another American, Paul Whelan, a corporate security executive in Michigan, has been jailed in Russia since December 2018 on espionage charges that his family and the US government have called baseless.

Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc7.com/wall-street-journal-evan-gershkovich-russia-espionage/13047990/ Russia arrests Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on espionage charges

Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: LauraCoffey@worldtimetodays.com.

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