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American journalist arrested by Russia on suspicion of espionage

Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich is shown in this undated photo. The Wall Street Journal via Associated Press

American journalist arrested by Russia on suspicion of espionage

American journalist Evan Gershkovich on Thursday was arrested by Russia’s Federal Security Service for allegedly trying to obtain classified information. Gershkovich is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and has been covering Russia for six years. The newspaper denies Moscow’s claims that Gershkovich was engaged in espionage and has called for his release. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

Is there a precedent for this type of arrest? Russia has not charged an American reporter with espionage since 1986. U.S. News and World Report correspondent Nicholas Daniloff was detained in September 1986 before being freed in a prisoner swap for a Russian citizen accused of spying. Moscow last year freed WNBA player Brittney Griner in exchange for a Russian arms dealer, but several Americans remain in Russian custody.

Dig deeper: Read Elizabeth Russell and Leigh Jones’ report in WORLD Magazine about the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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