Russia’s main security agency said Thursday it had detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich for what it described as espionage.
Mr. Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen and member of the Journal’s Moscow bureau, was detained in the city of Yekaterinburg on Wednesday while on a reporting trip.
The Federal Security Bureau said Mr. Gershkovich, “acting on the instructions of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.” Mr. Gershkovich is accredited to work as a journalist in Russia by the country’s foreign ministry.
Authorities took Mr. Gershkovich to Moscow, where he appeared in court with a state-appointed defense attorney and was ordered held in custody until May 29, said the press service of the court according to TASS.
In Russia, espionage trials are often conducted in secret and it is rare for a court to acquit a defendant. Trials can take months to unfold.