WSJ reporter detained in Russia on charges of espionage

Russia’s security agency said Thursday it had arrested a Wall Street Journal reporter on allegations of espionage, charges the newspaper denied.

The Federal Security Service, or FSB, said it detained reporter Evan Gershkovich in the city of Yekaterinburg.

Authorities said Mr. Gershkovich was trying to gain information about the Russian military-industrial complex that amounts to a state secret.

The Journal denied the allegations in a statement about Mr. Gershkovich, who works out of the Moscow bureau.

“The Wall Street Journal vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter, Evan Gershkovich,” The Journal said. “We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family.”

The arrest ratchets up the tension between Washington and Moscow amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is bristling over strict sanctions in response to its invasion and the U.S. government’s military aid to Kyiv.

Experts say Russia’s judicial system does not allow for fair trials and has an unusually high conviction rate.

Russia freed another U.S. detainee, basketball star Brittney Griner, after tough negotiations over a prisoner swap for arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Ms. Griner had been arrested and convicted on charges related to cannabis-derived oil in her airport luggage.

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