Putin repeatedly claims Evan Gershkovich received classified information

Vladimir Putin claimed that jailed American journalist Evan Gershkovich had been caught “red-handed” with classified information that he had obtained from one of his sources in a clandestine manner.

In a conversation with right-wing commentator Tucker Carlson, the Russian president denied that the Wall Street Journal reporter was innocent of the espionage charges for which he remains imprisoned.

The newspaper and other US news outlets strongly deny any wrongdoing by Mr Gershkovich.

They say his activities fell strictly under the umbrella of legitimate journalism.

“He was caught red-handed when he was receiving this information,” Putin told Mr Carlson.