In what could be considered the next step in the direction of a third world war, Russian intelligence agents have now arrested a foreign journalist on charges of espionage.
The Kremlin’s long history of subterfuge and belligerence doesn’t lend much integrity to whatever charges will be brought, however, and the dramatic detention will almost certainly raise the temperature within the international community.
Russia’s security service arrested an American reporter for The Wall Street Journal on espionage charges, the first time a U.S. correspondent has been detained on spying accusations since the Cold War. The newspaper denied the allegations.
Evan Gershkovich was detained in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg while allegedly trying to obtain classified information, the Federal Security Service, known by the acronym FSB, said Thursday.
The service, which is the top domestic security agency and main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, alleged that Gershkovich “was acting on the U.S. orders to collect information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex that constitutes a state secret.”
The Kremlin was predictably arrogant regarding their case against the reporter.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday: “It is not about a suspicion, is it about the fact that he was caught red-handed.”
“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 newspaper said. “We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family.”
Russia is known for their unwillingness to tolerate journalists who speak poorly about the Kremlin, even if what has been said is objectively true. This reputation will almost certainly play into whatever comes next for Gershkovich.