White House Wants All Americans To Leave Russia - Immediately!

Following the arrest of Wall Street Journal (WSJ) correspondent Evan Gershkovich, Washington has urged Americans who are visiting or living in Russia to leave the nation "immediately." The US has denounced the detention as an attack on "press freedom," despite Moscow's assertion that he was caught "red-handed" attempting to gather state secrets.

Washington is "extremely worried" by the development, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who also added that "in the strongest terms, we condemn the Kremlin's persistent attempts to intimidate, repress, and penalize journalists and civil society voices."

"We reaffirm our stern cautions regarding the risk to American individuals present inside the Russian Federation. US citizens living or visiting Russia should leave right once, the top diplomat advised.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the "targeting of American persons by the Russian government is unacceptable," sending a similar message.

We also condemn the continuous persecution of journalists and press freedom by the Russian regime," she continued, encouraging Americans to "follow the US administration's advice to not travel to Russia" or to leave if they were already there.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the US National Security Council, stressed that Washington was not actually urging all Americans to physically leave Russia and was not urging news organizations to pull their journalists out of the country, which somewhat softened the request.

The Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) reported earlier in the day that Gershkovich, a WSJ correspondent who covers news from Russia, Ukraine, and the former USSR, had been arrested in the city of Ekaterinburg on suspicion of espionage. The journalist was "caught red-handed" while attempting to steal Russian state secrets, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

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