On espionage charges, the Russian security service apprehended a reporter from The Wall Street Journal, who is an American citizen.
This marks the first time since the Cold War that a U.S. correspondent has been held on suspicion of spying, the Associated Press reported.
However, The Wall Street Journal has refuted the allegations and urged for the reporter’s immediate release.
According to the Federal Security Service (FSB), Evan Gershkovich was taken into custody in Yekaterinburg for purportedly attempting to acquire classified information.
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.”
The Journal “vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter, Evan Gershkovich,” the newspaper said. “We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family.”
The detention occurred amidst heightened tensions between the West and Moscow due to Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, as reported by the AP.
Additionally, the Kremlin has escalated its efforts to suppress opposition activists, independent journalists, and civil society organizations.
Written by staff