(CNN) — Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been arrested in Russia on suspicion of espionage, the first time a US journalist has been detained on accusations by Moscow of spying since the Cold War.

“The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation has stopped the illegal activities of US citizen Evan Gershkovich, born in 1991, a correspondent of the Moscow bureau of the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal,” Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, said in a statement Thursday.

The FSB said Gershkovich was detained in Yekaterinburg, on the eastern side of the Ural Mountains & claimed he was “trying to obtain secret information” relating to “the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.”

The FSB said the reporter, who is accredited by Russia’s foreign ministry, was “acting on the instructions of the American side” & “trying to obtain secret information.”

In a statement, the Wall Street Journal said it “vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB & seeks the immediate release of our trusted & dedicated reporter, Evan Gershkovich.”

His arrest marks a significant escalation of Russia’s campaign against Western media.

In a move by the United States last week, the Justice Department announced criminal charges against Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, a Russian national who allegedly entered America under a fake identity & gathered intelligence ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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