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Putin claims jailed US journalist Evan Gershkovich was caught ‘red-handed’ receiving secrets

Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that jailed American journalist Evan Gershkovich was innocent of the espionage charges for which he remains imprisoned during a rare interview with right-wing commentator Tucker Carlson.

In the conversation, which was published in full on Thursday, Mr Putin insisted that Mr Gershkovich had obtained classified information from one of his sources in a clandestine manner, and had been caught “red-handed” upon receiving the information. The Wall Street Journal and US news outlets have strongly denied any wrongdoing by Mr Gershkovich and protested that his activities fell strictly under the umbrella of legitimate journalism.

“He was receiving classified confidential information, and he was doing it covertly,” the Russian president told Carlson.

Mr Putin added: “He was caught red handed when he was receiving this information.”

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