Evan Gershkovich: Russia charges US journalist with spying – reportson April 7, 2023 at 4:30 pm

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested last week, categorically rejects the accusations, reports say.

Evan GershkovichImage source, AFP

US journalist Evan Gershkovich has been formally charged with spying in Russia, according to local media.

Mr Gershkovich, an experienced Russia reporter, was arrested last week in the city of Yekaterinburg while working for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The media reports said he categorically rejected the accusations against him. The newspaper has demanded his immediate release.

Following his arrest, the Kremlin said he had been caught “red-handed”.

Mr Gershkovich, 31, is well known among foreign correspondents in Moscow and BBC Russia Editor Steve Rosenberg describes him as an excellent reporter and a highly principled journalist.

The White House condemned his detention “in the strongest terms”.

And on Friday in a rare joint statement, Senate Republican and Democratic leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer strongly condemned his detention.

“Journalism is not a crime,” they said. “We demand the baseless, fabricated charges against Mr Gershkovich be dropped and he be immediately released.”

US officials say they have sought access to Mr Gershkovich but have not been able to visit him. However, the WSJ said its lawyers had been given access to him.

The Russian foreign ministry said the issue of consular access was being resolved, but added that the “fuss in the US about this case, which was aimed at pressurising the Russian authorities… was hopeless and senseless”.

The WSJ said its reporter had dropped out of contact with his editors while working in Yekaterinburg, about 1,600km (1,000 miles) east of Moscow, on Wednesday afternoon.

US officials said Mr Gershkovich’s driver had dropped him off at a restaurant and two hours later his phone had been turned off. The newspaper was unable to find him in the city.

Russia’s FSB security service claimed that it had halted “illegal activities”. The journalist had been detained while “acting on US instructions”, it added, alleging that he had “collected information classified as a state secret about the activities of a Russian defence enterprise”.

FSB agents took him to a Lefortovo district court in Moscow last Friday, where he was formally arrested and ordered to remain in detention until 29 May.

Espionage in Russia carries a maximum jail term of 20 years.

In his most recent WSJ piece, published last week, Evan Gershkovich reported on Russia’s declining economy and how the Kremlin was having to deal with “ballooning military expenditures” while maintaining social spending.

Press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders said he had gone to Yekaterinburg to cover Russian mercenary group Wagner, which has taken part in some of the heaviest fighting in eastern Ukraine.

He has covered Russia for the Wall Street Journal for more than a year, having worked there previously for the AFP news agency and the Moscow Times. He began his career in the US.

Related Topics

- Advertisement -




Bringing Barcelona back from the brink – Balague on the Spanish giants’ rebuilding jobon March 18, 2022 at 10:06 am

Barcelona were a complete mess last summer and while they still face huge financial issues, there is cause for optimism at the Nou Camp.

NHS bosses fear impact of second ambulance strikeon January 10, 2023 at 6:21 pm

Health managers say Wednesday's walkout in England and Wales will be harder to cope with.Image source, PA MediaBy Nick Eardley and Nick TriggleBBC NewsThe...

Learning will change with COVID-19’s social distancing

In response to the spread of COVID-19, on February 3, 2020 the islands off the east coast of China, known as Hong Kong, closed their schools....

Ukraine war: Liz Truss says Russia sanctions should end only after withdrawalon March 27, 2022 at 2:24 am

Russia must commit to no further aggression or face them being reimposed, the foreign secretary says.Image source, EPASanctions on Russia are a "hard lever"...

England v India: James Anderson claims five-wicket haul in the second Test against Indiaon August 13, 2021 at 2:41 pm

Watch as England's James Anderson claims a five-wicket haul against India in the second Test at Lord's.