Washington, US: Russia’s Federal Security Service has arrested Wall Street Journal reporter Ivan Gershkovich on charges of espionage. However, the security service has categorically denied such allegations, citing Russian state media. Gershkovich is accused by the FSB of spying for the US government. Gershkovich is the first American journalist to be detained in Russia on espionage charges since the end of the Cold War.
News agency Tass reported that the FSB had formally accused Gershkovitch of spying for US interests, but Gershkovitch denied the allegation. Although the Wall Street Journal has not revealed any reaction to the Street Journal in this matter.
Hearing will be held on April 18
According to Russian media, a Moscow court will hear on April 18 an appeal filed by Gershkovich’s lawyers against his arrest. The American journalist is currently being held at the infamous Lefteriovo Pre-Detention Center until May 29, reports CNN. Western officials condemned the arrest of the journalist, saying that for a free press, all free people around the world should oppose this action.
US Secretary of State appealed
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he urged Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to release Gershkovich immediately. Gershkovich, formerly a reporter for Agence France-Presse and The Moscow Times, is an American citizen. If convicted of espionage, he could face up to 20 years in prison. He is covering the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, during which he was present in Ukraine.