Russia arrested an American Wall Street Journal reporter on espionage charges.
“The Wall Street Journal vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter, Evan Gershkovich,” the Wall Street Journal said. “We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family.”
Evan Gershkovich was reportedly dragged out of a restaurant in the city of Yekaterinburg and shoved into a car with his sweater over his head.
Gershkovich is facing up to 20 years in prison.
Russia’s security service arrested an American reporter for The Wall Street Journal on espionage charges, the first time a U.S. correspondent has been detained on spying accusations since the Cold War. The newspaper denied the allegations and demanded his release.
Evan Gershkovich was detained in the city of Yekaterinburg while allegedly trying to obtain classified information, the Federal Security Service, known by the acronym FSB, said Thursday.
The service, which is the top domestic security agency and main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, alleged that Gershkovich “was acting on instructions from the American side to collect information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex that constitutes a state secret.”
Gershkovich is the first American reporter to be arrested on espionage charges in Russia since September 1986, when Nicholas Daniloff, a Moscow correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, was arrested by the KGB. Daniloff was released without charge 20 days later in a swap for an employee of the Soviet Union’s United Nations mission who was arrested by the FBI, also on spying charges.
At a hearing Thursday, a Moscow court quickly ruled to keep Gershkovich behind bars pending the investigation.
Breaking: Russia’s main security agency said it had detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen, for what it described as espionage https://t.co/5mr3h7uroZ
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) March 30, 2023
Secretary of State of Antony Blinken released a statement: “We are deeply concerned over Russia’s widely reported detention of a US citizen journalist.”