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Wall Street Journal Issues Statement After One of Its Reporters Was Arrested in Russia

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The Wall Street Journal released a statement after one of its reporters was arrested in Russia on the accusation of espionage.

“The Wall Street Journal vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter, Evan Gershkovich. We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family,” the statement reads.

Gershkovich could be the first reporter from the U.S. to be detained as an accused spy in Russia since the Soviet Union collapsed, per The New York Times.

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The Russian Federal Security Service (F.S.B.) released a statement on the arrest.

“The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation stopped the illegal activities of US citizen Evan Gershkovich, born in 1991, a correspondent of the Moscow bureau of the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal, accredited at the Russian Foreign Ministry, who is suspected of spying in the interests of the American government,” the statement reads.

According to the security service, “It was established that E. Gershkovich, 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. While trying to obtain secret information, the foreigner was detained in Yekaterinburg.”

Concluding the statement, the security service said, “The Investigation Department of the FSB of Russia initiated a criminal case against a US citizen under Article 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (espionage).”

Dmitri S. Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressed the matter during a call with journalists.

“We’re not talking about suspicions,” Peskov said.

He added, “He was caught red-handed.”

If Gershkovich is convicted, he could potentially face 20 years behind bars.

His author page on The Wall Street Journal states that he covers the topics of Russia, Ukraine and the former Soviet Union.

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Additionally, Gershkovich worked at the Agence France-Presse and the Moscow Times as well as a news assistant at the New York Times.

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