Russia has hit back at US Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Ross after she tweeted that recent arrests of Russian journalists are “starting to look like a concerted campaign against media freedom.”

The accusation comes after the detainment of former journalist Ivan Safronov, currently an adviser to the head of Russian Space Agency Roscosmos. The Federal Security Service (FSB) accused Safronov of working for Czech intelligence and transmitting classified information about Russian arms sales to foreign countries. If found guilty, Safronov could face up to 20 years in prison.

Ross was referring to a comment by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, who, on July 7, spoke at an online conference called ‘The world through the eyes of the media in 2020’. Zakharova claimed that the US has moved away from the concept of “freedom of the media, freedom of speech, protection of the rights of journalists and generally understanding what freedom of speech is.” (RT)