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Russia. Evan Gershkovich, American journalist of The Wall Street Journal detained in Yekaterinburg. White House reaction

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The Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, detained in Yekaterinburg in the Urals, has been arrested. The decision was made by a court in Moscow’s Lefortovo. The meeting was held behind closed doors. The correspondent of the Moscow office of the American newspaper wrote about the mercenary company Wagner Group. The Federal Security Service suspects him of espionage. The editors of The Wall Street Journal categorically denied the allegations made by the Russian services and demanded his immediate release. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said: “Russian authorities targeting American citizens is absolutely, completely unacceptable.”

The state news agency TASS reported that Evan Gershkovich pleaded not guilty. His lawyer and journalists were not allowed into the meeting room. The Wall Street Journal correspondent faces 10 to 20 years in prison.

The independent portal Mediazona wrote that the journalist was brought to the court at around 14:00 Moscow time (13:00 in Poland). Earlier, the services were to evacuate the courthouse. The correspondent’s lawyer, Daniil Berman, arrived at the scene but was not allowed to see the client.

Russian media reported earlier on Thursday that journalist Evan Gershkovich was detained in Yekaterinburg.

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The Federal Security Service (FSB) said in a statement that Gershkovich, “at the behest of the United States, was collecting information about one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex, which is a state secret.”

The FSB also announced that a criminal case had been opened for espionage.

Editors demand “immediate release”

The editors of the American newspaper, in a statement sent to Reuters, categorically denied the allegations made by the Russian services. “The Wall Street Journal categorically denies the FSB allegations and demands the immediate release of our trusted and impartial reporter Evan Gershkovich. We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family,” the American daily reported.

Evan GershkovichReuters

“This is a frontal attack on all foreign correspondents still working in Russia and it means that the FSB has been unleashed,” wrote the well-known Russian journalist Andrei Soldatov, who specializes in the problems of special services, on his Twitter account. According to the English-language portal The Moscow Times, accusations against Gershkovich may cause other foreign media to withdraw journalists from Russia.

Kirby: Attacking American citizens by Russian authorities is unacceptable

US National Security Council (NSC) spokesman John Kirby also commented on the matter.

– Attacking American citizens by the Russian authorities is absolutely, completely unacceptable. We condemn Mr. Gershkovich’s detention in the strongest possible terms,” ​​Kirby said. “We also condemn the ongoing attacks and repression by the Russian government against journalists and press freedom,” he added.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said that representatives of the White House and the US State Department had spoken with the management of the “Wall Street Journal” and the family of the detained journalist, as well as with Russian authorities, trying to grant consular access to him.

– Unfortunately, this is not a new tactic by Putin and the Russian government to detain foreigners, especially Americans. We are doing everything we can to learn more about Evan’s detention and will continue to keep his family informed,” Kirby said. The president added Joe Biden was made aware of the case on Thursday morning. White House and head of US diplomacy Anthony Blinken they also reiterated their warning to US citizens not to travel to Russia, and that US citizens already in the country should leave the country immediately.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that United States They are “deeply concerned” by reports that Russia has detained an American journalist.

The Russian Federation, however, stated that it would grant the United States consular access to the detained journalist. “Through diplomatic channels, the US side requested consular contact with US citizen Evan Gershkovich, who was being held in Yekaterinburg on espionage charges,” a spokeswoman told Reuters. of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. “Consular access to it will be granted in due course,” she added.

Coverage tvn24.pl: RUSSIA’S ATTACK ON UKRAINE

Earlier, Russian independent journalists reported that the correspondent of the Moscow office of The Wall Street Journal stopped contacting his editorial office after leaving for Yekaterinburg. Gershkovich went to this city to collect materials for a publication on the armed invasion of Ukraine and the recruitment of local residents into the ranks of the Wagner Group.

Sweater on the head

On Wednesday, Yekaterinburg’s website Vechernie Vedomosti wrote that its reader witnessed the arrest or abduction of a man in the city center. “Officers dressed in plainclothes escorted the detainee to the minibus. A sweater was pulled over his head, passers-by did not see his face,” the portal reported.

The Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Yekaterinburg.Reuters

The well-known PR man and political scientist Yaroslav Shirshikov, who dealt with the American correspondent in Yekaterinburg, showed him around the city and helped him find mercenaries who fought in Ukraine, wrote on Telegram that the detained man could be Gershkovich. “I had already gone to bed and around 1 am I got a call from London. A gentleman named Thomas reported with concern that Evan had arrived in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday and had not been in touch with him for over 9 hours. Evan had left my phone number in his ( Moscow – ed.) office in case something happens,” wrote Szyrshikov.

“Wagnerians. Putin’s mercenaries”Player Original press materials

The media write about a stay in the city of Nizhny Tagil

The Wall Street Journal correspondent had been to Yekaterinburg a few weeks earlier. The independent Meduza portal, citing sources among Western journalists working in Moscow, determined that in addition to Yekaterinburg, Gershkovich also went to the city of Nizhny Tagil, where the Uralvagonzavod defense company is located. Military vehicles, including tanks, are produced there.

The Meduza portal reported that the correspondent of “The Wall Street Journal” has been living in Moscow for six years, writes about Russia and Ukraine. Previously, he worked for the AFP agency, the English-language portal The Moscow Times and The New York Times.

The documentary “Wagnerians. Putin’s mercenaries” is available on Player. You can also watch it in TVN24 GO.

TASS, BBC, Reuters, Meduza, tvn24.pl, PAP

Main photo source: Reuters



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