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Evan Gershkovich, reporter jailed by Russia, appeals espionage arrest

Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter jailed in Russia and accused of espionage, appeared in a Moscow court docket on Tuesday to enchantment his detention on the spying costs, which the United States and different Western governments have denounced as spurious.

The complete continuing lasted barely 90 minutes, and the enchantment was rejected, which means Gershkovich will stay in jail whereas awaiting trial.

The arrest of Gershkovich, who’s a U.S. citizen, crossed a brand new threshold within the Kremlin’s widespread crackdown on free speech and political dissent amid Russia’s warfare in Ukraine.

In the primary pictures from the courtroom printed by information businesses, Gershkovich stood inside a glass-enclosed defendant’s dock, carrying a blue plaid shirt together with his arms folded in entrance of him. He made no feedback to the handfuls of journalists who have been let inside for a photograph alternative earlier than the listening to, which was performed behind closed doorways due to the supposedly delicate nature of the costs.

Gershkovich, 31, was detained in late March whereas on a reporting journey to town of Yekaterinburg within the Urals. The Federal Security Service, or FSB, accused him of making an attempt to acquire categorised info, a declare that Gershkovich, his employer and the U.S. authorities have strenuously denied.

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Shortly after Gershkovich’s arrest, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, stated the journalist was “caught red-handed.” However, neither Peskov nor Russian regulation enforcement officers have disclosed any proof to again up the declare.

Just a few hours earlier than the listening to began in Moscow, Russian regulation enforcement officers detained an activist and public relations professional, Yaroslav Shirshikov, who was amongst folks contacted by Gershkovich for an interview earlier than his arrest, the Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday.

In clips posted on the favored messaging app Telegram, plainclothes brokers have been proven storming into Shirshikov’s residence, throwing him on the ground and handcuffing him.

The costs towards Shirshikov weren’t clear, and officers didn’t publicly link his detention to Gershkovich’s case. But the activist was one of many first folks to sound the alarm after the journalist’s disappearance and has stated that he gave an interview to Gershkovich and aided him together with his reporting earlier than his arrest.

Who is the Wall Street Journal reporter arrested in Russia?

Last week, the State Department labeled Gershkovich as “wrongfully detained,” which means that his case receives particular consideration throughout the U.S. authorities. Gershkovich may withstand 20 years in jail if convicted.

In Russia, such prosecutions can take many months earlier than a verdict is delivered, and Gershkovich can be largely remoted from the skin world.

On Monday, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, stated she was in a position to go to Gershkovich in Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison, infamous for its harsh situations. Tracy stated that “he is in good health and remains strong.”

It was “the first time we’ve been permitted access to him since his wrongful detention more than two weeks ago,” she posted on Twitter. “We reiterate our call for his immediate release.”

One yr of Russia’s warfare in Ukraine

Portraits of Ukraine: Every Ukrainian’s life has modified since Russia launched its full-scale invasion one yr in the past — in methods each huge and small. They have discovered to outlive and assist one another beneath excessive circumstances, in bomb shelters and hospitals, destroyed residence complexes and ruined marketplaces. Scroll by way of portraits of Ukrainians reflecting on a yr of loss, resilience and concern.

Battle of attrition: Over the previous yr, the warfare has morphed from a multi-front invasion that included Kyiv within the north to a battle of attrition largely concentrated alongside an expanse of territory within the east and south. Follow the 600-mile entrance line between Ukrainian and Russian forces and check out the place the preventing has been concentrated.

A yr of dwelling aside: Russia’s invasion, coupled with Ukraine’s martial regulation stopping fighting-age males from leaving the nation, has compelled agonizing selections for tens of millions of Ukrainian households about stability security, responsibility and love, with once-intertwined lives having develop into unrecognizable. Here’s what a prepare station stuffed with goodbyes appeared like final yr.

Deepening world divides: President Biden has trumpeted the reinvigorated Western alliance solid throughout the warfare as a “global coalition,” however a better look suggests the world is way from united on points raised by the Ukraine warfare. Evidence abounds that the trouble to isolate Putin has failed and that sanctions haven’t stopped Russia, because of its oil and fuel exports.

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