US condemns Russia arrest of WSJ journalist


On Thursday, the United States criticised Russia for holding an American journalist and declared it was requesting consular access.

US officials claimed that the State Department had contacted Russia and that they were in communication with both the newspaper and the family of imprisoned writer Evan Gershkovich.

“It is outrageous that the Russian government has targeted Americans. In the harshest terms possible, we denounce Mr. Gershkovich’s detention “Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, made a statement.

“I want to stress once more that Americans should heed the advice of the US authorities not to visit Russia. Americans living or visiting Russia should leave right away.”

In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken linked the incarceration to Russia’s crackdown on the media, whose relations with the United States have deteriorated since the invasion of Ukraine.

Blinken stated, “In the strongest words possible, we condemn the Kremlin’s ongoing attempts to restrict, intimidate, and penalise journalists and civil society voices.

Gershkovich is thought to be the first foreign journalist detained in post-Soviet Russia on accusations of spying.

John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House on national security, said he recognised that journalists had to take calculated risks.

Kirby told reporters, “We respect that, but it doesn’t lessen our grave worry about the presence of Americans in Russia.”

Paul Whelan, a former Marine who was detained in 2018 and given a 16-year term on espionage allegations that he disputes, is among several other American citizens who are incarcerated.

The detention of foreign nationals, particularly Americans, is “not a novel approach for Mr. Putin and Russian officials,” according to Kirby.

He claimed that Mr. Putin’s retaliation against a free and independent press was nothing new.

Whelan’s brother expressed regret at Gershkovich’s detention and urged the Biden administration to make freeing jailed people a top priority.