The Russian security services (FSB) announced on Thursday the arrest for espionage of the correspondent of the American newspaper Wall Street Journal, Evan Gershkovich. The arrest of a foreign journalist on such a charge is unprecedented in recent Russian history.

“The FSB thwarted the illegal activity of the accredited correspondent (…) of the Moscow bureau of the American newspaper Wall Street Journal, a citizen of the United States, Evan Gershkovich,” the FSB said in a statement quoted by the Russian agencies. specifying that the journalist was suspected of “espionage” for the benefit of Washington.

He is “suspected of spying for the benefit of the United States” and of collecting information “about a company in the Russian military-industrial complex.”

Before joining the American newspaper in 2022, Gershkovich was a correspondent for AFP in Moscow and before the English-language newspaper the Moscow Times. Speaking perfectly Russian, the 31-year-old journalist is of Russian origin and his parents are based in the United States.

According to the independent media Meduza, Gershkovich was arrested this Wednesday in front of a restaurant in the capital of the Urals.

The media pointed out that the American reporter was in this city collecting information on the attitude of the Russian population towards the Wagner private army, currently the spearhead of the Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine.

According to the local newspaper Vechernie Novosti (Evening News), a reader witnessed the arrest of a man in the city center. “When they took the detainee away, they covered his head with a T-shirt so that passers-by would not see his face,” the newspaper added.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project