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Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich formally charged with spying in Russia

Evan Gershkovich, Wall Street Journal reporter, has been indicted for spying in Russia. State-run news agencies reported this today.

American citizen Mr Gershkovich was arrested last week on espionage allegations, which were dismissed by the West.

He is currently being held at the Lefortovo prison in Moscow in a pre-trial jail. If convicted, he could spend up to 20 years in prison.

The journalist, aged 31, is the first American journalist to be charged with espionage in Russia since the Cold War. The allegations are “categorically denied” by the journalist.


“He… stated he was engaged with journalistic activities Russia,” TASS quoted an unidentified source saying.

Ukraine war – latest: Kyiv responds to ‘leaked’ secret war plans

On 30 March, the Russian Federal Security Service announced that it had taken a journalist from America into custody in Yekaterinburg and opened an espionage investigation against him for allegedly obtaining “state secrets” regarding a military facility.

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On Friday, it was reported that a Moscow court will hear a case against Mr Gershkovich’s arrest on April 18.

Image Reporter from The Wall Street Journal, Evan Gershkovich was taken into custody on suspicion of spying and left a Moscow courthouse

Interfax reported that the hearing will be closed because Russia considers information about the charges secret.

The Wall Street Journal strongly denied Mr Gershkovich’s charges and described his arrest as “a vicious insult to a free press”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry reiterated earlier claims that the reporter was caught red-handed trying to get secret information. He used his journalistic status to cover illegal activities.

The arrest of Joe Biden, the US President, has further soured relations between Russia and the United States.

These espionage accusations are absurd. Last week, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that targeting American citizens by Russia’s government was unacceptable.

She stated that there was no reason for the charges to be true and that Russia uses detention of Americans as a long-standing tactic.

Since Nicholas Daniloff’s 1986 arrest of Nicholas Daniloff, Mr Gershkovich has been the first American journalist to be charged with espionage in Russia.

In a swap with an employee of the Soviet Union’s United Nations Mission who had been arrested by the FBI, Mr Daniloff was freed without charge 20 days later.

After 10 months in prison, American basketball star Brittney griner was released in December to exchange for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer.

Moscow said that it was too soon to discuss a possible prisoner exchange for Mr Gershkovich.

Paul Whelan, a former US Marine, has been held in Russia since December 2018, on espionage accusations that Washington and his family claim are unfounded.


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