Wall Street Journal editor: Russian authorities’ comments on detained reporter ‘utter nonsense’

The Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief said on Sunday that comments from Russian authorities comments about Evan Gershkovich, the reporter detained this week on spying charges, were “utter nonsense.”

Emma Tucker said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Gershkovich was working on his assignments in Russia doing what “he always does” before he was arrested. She said she has “no idea” what Russia’s motivation was for detaining him, noting that he is a “very talented, experienced reporter.”

“He was gathering information,” she told CBS’s Margaret Brennan. “He was reporting from the ground to provide our readers with eyewitness accounts of what it’s like to be in Russia at the moment. It’s a complete outrage that he was arrested like this.”

“I really don’t understand. None of us can,” she continued. “What the Russian authorities are saying is utter nonsense.”

Gershkovich was arrested for allegedly trying to gain access to classified information in Yekaterinburg on Thursday, Russia’s security service said last week.

The Wall Street Journal has denied the espionage charges and has demanded the immediate release of Gershkovich, who covers Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet countries for the Journal’s Moscow bureau.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also urged his Russian counterpart to immediately release the Journal’s reporter during a call on Sunday, the State Department said in a statement.

Tucker added that Gershkovich’s arrest was a “bad signal” that Russia is not a “safe place” for journalists, including those approved to report there, like Gershkovich was.

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