06 June 2023,   22:32
Russia arrests Wall Street Journal reporter on espionage charges

Russian authorities have arrested a US journalist working in the country and accused him of espionage, a charge which could carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years, writes The Guardian.

Russia’s FSB security service said Evan Gershkovich, a well-respected reporter from the Wall Street Journal, “was collecting classified information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military industrial complex”.

Gershkovich was detained during a reporting trip to the Urals city of Ekaterinburg. The newspaper Kommersant, citing sources, said he would be brought from the city to Moscow where he would be officially charged in court. The FSB claimed Gershkovich was “acting on instructions from the American side”.

The 31-year-old journalist has lived in Moscow for six years, speaks fluent Russian and is accredited as a journalist with Russia’s foreign ministry. Prior to the Wall Street Journal, Gershkovich had previously worked in Russia for the Moscow Times and Agence France-Presse.

Before his arrest, Gershkovich was reportedly working on a story about Wagner, the notionally private military group run by the businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, which has done much of the fighting in Ukraine.