Russia arrested Evan Gershkovich, an American journalist, on charges of espionage. He was in the country’s fourth-largest city, working on a report. The editors of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) explained he had been working in Yekaterinburg. The staff last heard from their 31-year-old colleague just before four on Wednesday afternoon. Sadly, they learned of his detention the following morning, March 30, 2023.
Russia’s state news agency announced Gershkovich’s arrest. He was accused of spying: BCC reported the Kremlin claimed he had been caught “red-handed.” However, the WSJ adamantly denies that the journalist committed espionage.
According to the WSJ, Russian TV showed the reporter being taken into custody by plainclothes Federal Security Service (FSB) officers. Gershkovich wore faded denim jeans and tennis shoes. The video showed “a black-handed glove around his stopped neck.”
US department of State in panic after 👇
— Bharggav Roy 🇮🇳 (@Bharggavroy) March 30, 2023
Reviewing Gershkowitz’s story’s titles reveals topics that might have put him in danger of arrest. His co-written article “Russia Economy Is Starting to Come Undone,” published two days before his arrest, and a March 14th story, “Artillery Shortage Hamper’s Offensive in East Ukraine, Western Officials Say,” challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tales of success.
After news spread about the espionage charges, the White House condemned the journalist’s arrest. Additionally, United States Secretary of State Antony Bliken said he was deeply concerned and immediately tried to reach Gershkovich. Finally, President Joe Biden demanded that the Russian government release the journalist.
Who Is Evan Gershkovich?
Gershkovich’s fellow reporters respect him. Moreover, he is highly regarded among foreign news reporters in Moscow. BBC’s Russian Editor, Steve Rosenberg, said he was an excellent and highly conscientious journalist. Additionally, he is the American son of Soviet-born Jewish exiles.
According to the WSJ, diplomats and legal experts doubt Russia will immediately release Gershkovich “given that espionage trials in Russia are conducted in secret and almost always end in a conviction.”
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Wall Street Journal: Evan Gershkovich Loved Russia, the Country That Turned on Him; by Joe Parkinson and Drew Hinshaw
BBC: Russia arrests US journalist Evan Gershkovich on spying charge; by Paul Kirby
The Hill: Biden to Russia on detained US journalist: ‘Let him go;’ by Seung Min Kim
CNN: Wall Street Journal reporter arrested in Russia on spying charges; by Sarah Dean, Julia Horowitz, and Eliza Mackintosh
Featured and Top Image by Dickelbers Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License