Russia arrests WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich on espionage charges
Moscow (Russia), March 30: Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter, was arrested in Russia on espionage charges, Russia's top security service stated on Thursday, according to Al-Jazeera.
In a statement, the WSJ stated, "The Wall Street Journal is deeply concerned for the safety of Gershkovich."
According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), the top KGB successor agency, the WSJ reporter was held in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg while trying to get classified information.
"Gershkovich acting on the instructions of the American side collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex," FSB said.
According to Al-Jazeera, the FSB reportedly claimed that Gershkovich "was collecting classified information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex that represents a state secret."
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According to local media, he was detained while covering the war in Ukraine and the Wagner mercenary group.
The date of arrest was not mentioned in the statement, but if convicted of espionage, Gershkovich could face up to 20 years in prison.
According to Al-Jazeera, he is the first journalist from an American news organisation to be arrested in Russia on suspicion of espionage since the Cold War, and his detention comes at a moment of intense international concern owing to the war in Ukraine.
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