Journalist Evan Gershkovich formally charged with espionage in Russia

The Wall Street Journal has described Gershkovich’s arrest as “a vicious affront to a free press, and should spur outrage in all free people and governments throughout the world”.

From The Guardian:

Russian Federal Security Service investigators have formally charged Evan Gershkovich with espionage but the Wall Street Journal reporter denied the charges and said he was working as a journalist, Russian news agencies reported on Friday.

Russia’s Federal Security Service, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said on 30 March that it had detained Gershkovich in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg and had opened an espionage case against the 31-year-old for collecting what it said were state secrets about the military-industrial complex.

luliia Mendel is the spokesperson for President Zelensky of Ukraine
Evan Gershkovich is the first American journalist detained in Russia on espionage charges since the end of the cold war. Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

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 [sic]the Russian authorities… was hopeless and senseless”. From The BBC

Russian President Vladimir Putin has yet to comment publicly on the case.

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