A Wall Street Journal reporter has officially been charged by Russia with espionage on Friday afternoon, according to Russian state media, after he was detained on a what was suspected to be a false charge. Folks, this guy is probably about to pee himself if he hasn’t already. It’s no small thing to ever be charged with spying, but having these kind of accusations made by the Russian government is terrifying. They are not known for fair trials. And let’s not even get started on their punishments. Just ask Brittney Griner.
According to The Daily Wire, “Evan Gershkovich was on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg when he was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on accusations of spying against Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry previously recognized Gershkovich as an accredited American journalist, causing confusion as to why he has now been accused of committing a crime.”
“The FSB investigation charged Gershkovich with espionage in the interests of his country. He categorically denied all accusations and stated that he was engaged in journalistic activities in Russia,” the Russian arresting agency went on to say.
The Daily Wire then stated that many political institutions here in the United States have been quick to jump on the bandwagon and denounce the arrest of the journalist, including the White House, along with the Speaker of the House — a Republican — and the Democratic and Republican leaders of the U.S. Senate.
“We demand the baseless, fabricated charges against Mr. Gershkovich be dropped and he be immediately released and reiterate our condemnation of the Russian government’s continued attempts to intimidate, repress, and punish independent journalists and civil society voices,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both stated on Friday.
“It’s unclear what avenues there are to pursue Gershkovich’s release. The White House recently secured the release of women’s basketball star Brittney Griner by giving Russia a wanted arms merchant. Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine accused of spying, has been in a Russian prison since 2018 and there are no signs his release will come soon,” the report said.
“Gershkovich’s arrest, which is the first time in decades an American journalist has been arrested in Russia, took place in the interior of the country, in the Ural Mountains. In the past, Gershkovich has worked for the New York Times and Agence France-Presse. His latest story examined the impact of Western sanctions on the Russian economy,” the report added.
Jeanne Cavelier of Reporters Without Borders said the arrest could potentially be an act of retaliation against the United States for having heavily backed Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
“It looks like a retaliation measure of Russia against the United States, so we are very alarmed because it is probably a way to intimidate all Western journalists that are trying to investigate aspects of the war on the ground in Russia,” Cavelier went on to tell The Associated Press. “The Western powers should immediately ask for clarifications on the charges, because as far as we know he was just doing his job as a journalist.”
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