Russian state media said a Wall Street Journal reporter has been arrested on spying charges in Russia and a criminal case has been filed against him.
Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, has been arrested in Russia and slapped with spying charges, said state-run Russian news agency RIA Novosti on Thursday. According to the report, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said a criminal case has been filed against Gershkovich.
The FSB said he was involved in collecting “secret information” about a Russian defense company.
Evan Gershkovich was arrested while he was on assignment in Yekaterinburg, said RIA Novosti. A veteran journalist in the city told The Moscow Times that two of his sources have confirmed Gershkovich’s detention.
Kolezev said he believes Gershkovich was detained for his reporting. “I assume the reason was Evan’s journalistic work,” he was quoted by The Moscow Times as saying.
Local publicist Yaroslav Shirshikov, who had earlier worked with Gershkovich on a reporting trip, told news outlet 66.ru that he was working on a story about Russia’s Wagner mercenary group.
The publicist wrote on Telegram that Gershkovich might have been detained on Wednesday when security forces in Yekaterinburg arrested a person near a restaurant pulling a sweater over his head.
The Wall Street Journal has not issued any statements with regard to Gershkovich’s arrest. According to his author page on The Wall Street Journal’s website, Evan Gershkovich is a reporter covering Russia, Ukraine and the former Soviet Union.
He was previously a reporter for Agence France-Presse and the Moscow Times and a news assistant at the New York Times.