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Tipsheet

Russia Detains WSJ Reporter

Russia’s Federal Security Service detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on espionage charges, the paper reported.

According to the FSB, Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen, was “acting on the instructions of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.” 

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The Journal “vehemently denies the allegations” and called for the reporter’s immediate release.

Mr. Gershkovich reports on Russia as part of the Journal’s Moscow bureau. He is accredited to work as a journalist in Russia by the country’s foreign ministry, the FSB said.

The FSB said it had “stopped the illegal activities” Mr. Gershkovich was conducting and that an espionage case had been opened against him in Yekaterinburg.

“What an employee of the American publication The Wall Street Journal was doing in Yekaterinburg has nothing to do with journalism,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Telegram. 

Mr. Gershkovich, 31 years old, has worked as a reporter in Russia since 2017. Before joining the Journal, he worked at Agence France-Presse and the Moscow Times. Earlier, he was a news assistant in New York for the New York Times. A graduate of Bowdoin College, he most recently wrote about the impact of Western sanctions on Russia’s economy. (WSJ)

 “We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family,” the Journal’s statement added. 

Gershkovich's arrest comes after the U.S. State Department issued a "do not travel" warning to U.S. citizens, urging them to leave Russia immediately. 

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“Do not travel to Russia due to the unpredictable consequences of the unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, and the possibility of terrorism,” the warning reads. “U.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart immediately. Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions.”

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