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.
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