Government building in Moscow, Russia
Government building in Moscow, RussiaiStock

Russia on Tuesday extended the detention by three months of Jewish Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, according to Russian news agencies.

Gershkovich was ordered by the court to be kept in prison until August 30, the Associated Press reported.

The American citizen was arrested in March on charges of collecting "classified information" from a military complex in the city of Ekaterinburg, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) announced after he was placed in custody.

The FSB alleged that Gershkovich "was acting on US orders to collect information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military industrial complex that constitutes a state secret."

The Wall Street Journal and the US government have denied all charges against Gershkovich.

The entire case has proceeded under strict secrecy. Tuesday’s court hearing was not announced ahead of time. Russian authorities also have not revealed any evidence they have to support their claims of espionage.

The case has largely not been open to the media, and it was unclear if Gershkovich or US Embassy staff were able to attend the Tuesday hearing, according to AP.

The Tass Russian news agency described it as a closed hearing because the journalist was alleged to have been in possession of “secret materials” at the time of his March arrest.

Gershkovich is the first American reporter to be arrested on Russian soil since the end of the Cold War. He could face up to 20 years in a state prison.

In his last report which was published in late March, Gershkovich, who had been covering the war in Ukraine, discussed the effects of Western sanctions on Moscow.