Russian court extends Evan Gershkovich’s detention until the end of January

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MOSCOW – A court in Moscow on Tuesday extended the detention of a Wall Street Journal reporter. Ivan GershkovichHe was detained on espionage charges until January 30, Russian news agencies reported.

The hearing was held behind closed doors because authorities said details of the criminal charges against the American journalist were classified.

Gershkovich, 32; He was arrested in March While on a reporting trip to the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) east of Moscow. The reporter of the Russian Federal Security Service “gathered classified information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex at the direction of the United States.”

While Gershkovich and the Journal denied the allegations, the U.S. government declared wrongful arrest. Russian officials have not provided any evidence to support the spying allegations.

Gershkovich He is the first American reporter to be charged with espionage in Russia since 1986, when Nicholas Daniloff, a correspondent for American News and World Report in Moscow, was arrested by the KGB. Gershkovich was imprisoned in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, known for its harsh conditions.

Analysts have suggested that Moscow may use the imprisoned Americans as a bargaining chip after the US-Russia conflict escalated after Russia sent its troops into Ukraine. In recent years, at least two American citizens have been detained in Russia – including WNBA star Brittany Griner – They were exchanged for Russians imprisoned in the US

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Gershkovich would only consider switching after the verdict in the trial. In Russia, espionage trials can last more than a year.

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