Russian officials charge Wall Street Journal reporter with espionage: report

Russian officials charge Wall Street Journal reporter with espionage: report

Russia officially charged Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich with espionage Friday, April 7, The New York Times reports.

The well-respected former staffer at The Times has been detained in Moscow since March 29, with the possibility of a 20-year-long sentence.

President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, The Times' editorial board and a group of nearly 200 Russian journalists and activists have all urged officials to immediately release the 31-year-old reporter.

READ MORE: 'Need to stand firm': New York Times editorial board calls for immediate release of WSJ reporter

According to The Times, Russian state media, known as "The Tass news agency cited an unidentified law enforcement source about the steps taken by Russia's Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., and said Mr. Gershkovich had denied the accusation."

A source told the agency, "The F.S.B. investigation charged Gershkovich with espionage in the interests of his country," adding, "He categorically denied all accusations and stated that he was engaged in journalistic activities in Russia."

Tass noted details are currently limited, as case is described as "top secret."

The Times reports:

The arrest of Mr. Gershkovich, the American-born son of Soviet émigrés and a reporter for The Journal since January 2022, brought relations between the United States and Russia to a new low. The two sides have been wrangling over when a U.S. Consular official will be allowed to visit Mr. Gershkovich, with John Kirby, a White House spokesman, telling a news conference on Thursday it was 'inexcusable' that Russia has not provided consular access.

READ MORE: 'Let him go': President Joe Biden calls on Russia to free WSJ reporter

Jessica Mara, a WSJ spokeswoman said, "We've seen media reports indicating Evan has been charged.As we've said from the beginning, these charges are categorically false and unjustified, and we continue to demand Evan’s immediate release."

READ MORE: 'Check the torture cellar': Russian mercenary boss leaves U.S. reporter disturbing message about a 'corpse'

The New York Times' full report is available at this link (subscription required).

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