Russia has kidnapped another American on allegations of spying. “The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation has stopped the illegal activities of US citizen Evan Gershkovich, born in 1991, a correspondent of the Moscow bureau of the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal,” Russia’s main security service, the FSB, said in a statement Thursday.
The Associated Press reports that “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 and demanded his release.
Evan Gershkovich was detained in the 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 instructions from the American side to collect information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex that constitutes a state secret.”
‘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.’”
There have yet to be reports on whether or not Gershkovich, his family, or friends are Biden donors or celebrities, which has appeared as the guiding factor in how the White House determines how much effort it needs to put in to free Americans wrongly captured and held prisoner in Russia.
Last year President Biden offered up one of the most dangerous arms traffickers in the world for the release of WNBA player Brittney Griner, who was detained in Russia on bogus drug charges.
Griner was exchanged for Viktor Bout who has been called the “Merchant of Death” due to his rise to the top of international arms trafficking. “Born in Tajikistan, he is a former Soviet military officer who spent time in Mozambique during its civil war, going on to work for the KGB in Angola,” according to The Daily Mail.
“He turned to the arms trade after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Attorney General Eric Holder called Bout ‘one of the world’s most prolific arms dealers’. Bout has armed human rights abusers in Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Amnesty International.
Conflicts linked to Bout include the First Liberian Civil War, the Angolan Civil War, the Yugoslav Wars, the 2006 Lebanon War, the Second Libyan Civil War and the Second Congo War.”
The prisoner swap happened after LeBron James, along with other liberal celebrities and Biden donors, demanded the president take action. The pressure also allowed Griner to jump ahead of Paul Whelan, an American from Michigan who has been held in Russia since 2018 on trumped up charges of spying.
“Whelan expressed his frustration that more has not been done to secure his release in an exclusive CNN interview hours after another detained American, Brittney Griner, was freed.
Whelan said he was happy that Griner was released, but told CNN, “I am greatly disappointed that more has not been done to secure my release, especially as the four year anniversary of my arrest is coming up.”
‘I was arrested for a crime that never occurred,” he said in a phone call from the penal colony where he is being held in a remote part of Russia. “I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here.’”
Everyone knows that The Wall Street Journal leans conservative, so that is likely one strike against Gershkovich getting help from the State Department.
But does it cover sports?