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The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on American citizens to leave Russia, after Moscow arrested Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, on espionage charges.
"If you are a U.S. citizen living or traveling in Russia – please leave immediately," Blinken wrote on March 30.
“In the strongest possible terms, we condemn the Kremlin’s continued attempts to intimidate, repress and punish journalists and civil society voices,” Blinken said in a prior statement.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on March 30 that the U.S. government was "deeply concerned" by the arrest and has been in direct contact with the Russian government regarding the matter, CNN reported.
“The targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable. We condemn the detention of Mr. Gershkovich in the strongest terms," Jean-Pierre said, as quoted by CNN.
Gershkovich was arrested in the city of Yekaterinburg while working on a story about the Wagner mercenary group recruiting local residents, as well as Russian citizens' views on the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Gershkovich received the proper press accreditation to work as a journalist in Russia.