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Another American Captured by Russian Gov't Under Biden's Watch, WH Tells US Citizens to Leave Country Immediately

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Russia has locked up an American reporter, claiming he is a spy.

According to CNN, Russia’s security service, the FSB, said it arrested Evan Gershkovich, a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. Although Russian officials said Gershkovich was trying to access state secrets, the Journal denied the claim.

Gershkovich, the first American journalist jailed as a spy since the Cold War, will be locked up through at least May 29.  His arrest comes a week after Russian citizen Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov was arrested in the U.S. on an espionage charge.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to the incident with a statement condemning Russia for detaining Gershkovich.

“The targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable. We condemn the detention of Mr. Gershkovich in the strongest terms. We also condemn the Russian government’s continued targeting and repression of journalists and freedom of the press,” the statement said.

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The statement added that Americans should leave Russia.

“I want to strongly reiterate that Americans should heed the U.S. government’s warning to not travel to Russia. U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately, as the State Department continues to advise,” she said.

According to the BBC, the FSB said it stopped “illegal activities” when it arrested Gershkovitch in Yekaterinburg, which is roughly 1,000 miles east of Moscow.

The FSB accused Gershkovitch of “acting on U.S. instructions” and claimed he “collected information classified as a state secret about the activities of a Russian defense enterprise.”

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The group Reporters Without Borders said the reporter went to Yekaterinburg for a piece about the mercenary group Wagner, which is heavily involved in the war in Ukraine.

“We’re not talking about suspicions. He was caught red-handed,” said Dmitri Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to The New York Times.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei A. Ryabkov said it was too soon to think of exchanging Gershkovitz.

“Certain exchanges that took place in the past took place for people who were already serving sentences. Let’s see how this story will develop,” he said.

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Gulnoza Said, a coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists, said the arrest was a bad sign for all journalists in Russia.

“Until today, there was a hope among foreign correspondents working in Russia that these crackdowns on independent reporting would not extend to them. But with these very serious charges, it is clear that any foreign correspondent could be a victim,” she said.

“The situation was frozen, and now it got worse. Everybody working in Russia knew it may happen, but everyone was hoping it would not.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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