“Wall Street Journal” reporter Evan Gershkovich to stand trial in Russia on espionage charges

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(NEW YORK) — In a setback to Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, the Russian prosecutor’s office announced Thursday he will stand trial on espionage charges, officially ending any future pre-detention appeals.

“The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation has approved an indictment in the criminal case against US citizen Evan Gershkovich,” the office said in a statement. “The criminal case has been sent to the Sverdlovsk Regional Court for consideration on the merits.”

It continued, “The investigation established and documented that the American journalist of The Wall Street Journal, Gershkovich, on the instructions of the CIA in March 2023, collected secret information in the Sverdlovsk region about the activities of the defense enterprise JSC NPK Uralvagonzavod for the production and repair of military equipment.”

Gershkovich has denied he was involved in any espionage and the U.S. State Department has declared him to be wrongfully detained.

The statement Thursday marks the first time prosecutors have publicly accused Gershkovich of working for the CIA, alleging without evidence that he was collecting “secret information” on a tank factory in the Sverdlovsk region. Gershkovich, The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. government and Gershkovich’s many colleagues all vehemently dispute he was working as a spy and say that he was doing his job as a reporter.

Gershkovich was on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg, the capital of the Sverdlovsk region, when he was arrested in March 2023.

Previously, prosecutors have alleged Gershkovich was working for a foreign intelligence service without specifying which one.

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