Wall Street Journal reporter arrested in Russia, “American spy” – The World

Wall Street Journal reporter arrested in Russia, “American spy” – The World

A spy in the service of the United States who collected information on the Russian military industry: that, for Moscow, is it Ivan Gershkovich, a 32-year-old American journalist of the Wall Street Journal, was arrested by the Internal Intelligence Services (FSB) in Yekaterinburg, Ural Region. A situation unprecedented since the times of the Soviet Union falls like a bomb on the already strained Russian-American relations.

Ivan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter arrested in Russia

“The allegations of espionage against Ivan Gershkovich are absurd,” said White House spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre, emphasizing her call for all Americans in the country to leave Russia immediately.

The White House condemned the arrest “in the strongest possible terms”.stating that it was “unacceptable for the Russian government to target American citizens” and called on all citizens to leave Russia immediately.

Gershkovich, the son of Russian immigrants in the United States and working in journalism for many years in Russia, pleaded not guilty when he appeared before the Lefortovo District Court in Moscow, which at the end of a closed hearing decided to at least arrest him. Until May 29, pending trial. Immediately after the hearing, the journalist, who was wearing a yellow vest and a hooded hood, was forced into a car that took him to prison. The charge against him could carry up to 20 years in prison. The Wall Street Journal “vehemently” denied the allegations against Gershkovitch and called for his “immediate release”.

And the Minister of Foreign Affairs Anthony Blinken condemned what he called “the Kremlin’s attempts to intimidate, suppression and punishment of journalists and the voices of civil society.” Before being hired by the American newspaper, the reporter worked for the French Agence France-Presse and for the Russian English-language newspaper The Moscow Times. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that he was relying on what the FSB said , But the intelligence services have not yet provided any details, and the fact that the case is classified as “top secret” certainly does not help shed light on what some media reported.In the Urals, the mediator who was accompanied by Gershkovich, said that the journalist was stopped yesterday in a restaurant. Bukovsky Grill in Yekaterinburg by some officers, who covered his head with a jacket and took him away.

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The independent Meduza website quoted some Western journalists in Moscow as saying Gershkovich also went to Nizhny Tagil, another Russian city that has a defense industry plant in Uralvagonzavod, which produces tanks. Many in these hours are thinking about the possibility of Russia using Gershkovich pawn in a prisoner exchange, such as the one that led to the release last December of American basketball player Brittney Griner in exchange for that of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the issue of a possible exchange of the Wall Street Journal “has not been discussed yet.”

Peskov, for his part, answered a reporter who asked him if there was an exchange with Sergei Cherkasov, a Russian who is being held in Brazil and indicted in recent days in the United States with those charged with crimes. Being a spy for the Russian intelligence services.

Cherkasov is accused of having lived from 2018 to 2022 under a false Brazilian identity in the United States and to gather through his contacts — even with a State Department employee — information of various kinds, including Washington’s possible response to a Russian attack on Ukraine. In 1986, the last American journalist arrested in Moscow before Gershkovich, Nick Danilov, was released after negotiations between the American administration and the USSR, which led, as Danilov himself recalled, to the “dissolution” of the Soviets. who was arrested before him in New York.

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