A court in Moscow orders The Wall Street Journal reporter to be held in pre-trial detention for two months. Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief pushes for F-16 fighters. Yet Ukraine will not wait for Western aircraft to begin a counteroffensive.
Russian court orders pre-trial detention for Wall Street Journal reporter working on a story on Wagner group
This is the first such case in 37 years. The Lefortovsky court in Moscow on Thursday, March 30, formally arrested The Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen, on charges of espionage and ordered him to be held until May 29 pending an investigation, the Russian state news agency TASS reported.
His case, according to TASS, is considered top secret. Gershkovich pleaded not guilty.
Russia’s Federal Security Service said Gershkovich, “acting on the instructions of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.”
Press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders said he had gone to Yekaterinburg to cover Russian mercenary group Wagner. Yaroslav Shirshikov, a local who claimed he attended some of the meetings with Gershkovich, said the journalist was also writing about the attitude of people to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The Wall Street Journal said Gershkovich had dropped out of contact with his editors while working in Yekaterinburg. “The Wall Street Journal vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter, Evan Gershkovich,” the Journal said.
Ukraine needs F-16 fighters, Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief says
Ukraine needs F-16 fighters, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said in a post on Facebook, which accompanied a video that featured Ukrainian service members speaking of Ukraine’s resistance in the air that surprised Russia in the early days of the invasion.
U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said their countries will not send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov is hopeful that the decision to supply Ukraine with advanced fighter jets will be made in one, two months.
On March 20, Chief of Aviation of Ukraine’s Air Force General Serhiy Holubtsov said Ukrainian pilots can learn to fly western jets in less than six months.
Ukraine will not wait for Western fighter jets to start its next counteroffensive
“Air superiority is essential to [enable Ukraine to conduct] a successful counteroffensive, but we will use the weapons we have right now,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told a news conference Wednesday. Ukraine has remaining stocks of Soviet-made weapons and newly-supplied Western weapons, Reznikov added.
He is convinced that Ukraine will get Western fourth generation fighter jets. It will take time for the allies to make a decision to send the jets to Ukraine, and train the pilots and engineers who service the aircraft, Reznikov said.
Finland’s unanimous support of Ukraine and common historical context. Ukraine in Flames #385
Finland has been providing invaluable military, economic and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the first days of the war. Finland’s PM insists that russia’s actions in Ukraine were a turning point for the world and relations with russia could not go back to how they were before this invasion. War in Ukraine tested long-standing neutrality of Finland and acted as a huge catalyst for their decision to join NATO as they realised that conventional warfare had returned to Europe.
Watch Ukraine in flames #385 to find out about Finland’s firm stance on the russian-Ukrainian war in the deeper historical and political context.
- Saara Hyrkkö, Member of Parliament, Finland
- Denys Kovalyov, PhD in History, Director of the Anatoliy Ryabov Center of Finno-Ugric Studies