Wall Street Journal reporter Ivan Gershkovich will appear in court in Russia on espionage charges

This decision represents a setback for the American, who was detained in March 2023.

In a setback for Wall Street Journal reporter Ivan Gershkovich, Russia’s prosecutor general’s office announced Thursday that it would stand trial on espionage charges, formally ending any future appeals before detention.

“The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation approved the indictment in the criminal case against American citizen Ivan Gershkovich,” the office said in a statement. “The criminal case has been sent to the Sverdlovsk Regional Court for consideration.”

She continued: “The investigation proved and documented that the American journalist for the Wall Street Journal, Gershkovich, had, on instructions from the CIA in March 2023, collected secret information in the Sverdlovsk region about the activities of the defense enterprise JSC NPK Uralvagonzavod for the benefit of Russia.” Production and repair of military equipment.”

Gershkovitch denied involvement in any espionage, and the US State Department declared that he was being illegally detained.

Thursday’s statement marks the first time prosecutors have publicly accused Gershkovitch of working for the CIA, claiming without evidence that he was collecting “classified information” about a tank factory in the Sverdlovsk region. Gershkovitch, the Wall Street Journal, the US government and many of Gershkovitch’s colleagues strongly dispute that he was working as a spy and say he was doing his job as a reporter.

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Gershkovitch was on a correspondent flight to Yekaterinburg, the capital of the Sverdlovsk region, when he was arrested in March 2023.

Previously, prosecutors alleged that Gershkovitch worked for a foreign intelligence service without specifying which agency.

In March, Gershkovitch’s parents told ABC News they were optimistic about progress in their son’s case.

“We know that the United States government takes Evan’s case very seriously,” his mother, Ella Millman, told “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview.

“I think if you let pessimism in… it’s game over,” she said. “And our saying in the family is, ‘We move forward. We move forward.’

Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first comments on Gershkovitch’s arrest in months on June 5.

“I know that the US administration is already taking active steps for his release. This is true. But such issues are not resolved through the media,” Putin said. “They like this calm, calm, professional approach and dialogue between the intelligence services.”

He added: “As you know, you believe that he is innocent, and Russian law enforcement agencies and special services believe that he committed illegal acts, which is called espionage. I will not go into details.”

Gershkovitch recently appeared in court in Moscow for a preliminary hearing on April 23 as part of an appeal against espionage charges. His appeal was rejected and he was ordered detained until at least June 30.

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The reporter smiled and gave a thumbs up when ABC News asked him inside the courtroom how he was doing.

ABC News’ Will Gretzky and Mark Osborne contributed to this report.

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