Russia has many more journalists in the U.S. than the U.S. has in Russia. The State Dept. took an active, out front position on the issue and its grave nature. It might have resulted in both sides expelling their respective news people.
I’ve always believed that many, if not all, Russian overseas journalists are intelligence officers. I remember my Mother telling stories about when my Dad was covering the Chinese Civil War, the Tass chief in Shanghai, named Rogoff, often played chess with his handler in my parents’ flat while he sobered up. It was commonly known he was the KGB station chief in China and he liked to talk when he was drunk which was apparently often.
I also recall the stories regarding an the newly created C.I.A. trying to get my Dad to go back to China after Mao took over. Left a rift in the family that outlived my Dad who was AP, and made no secret about the need for journalistic independence and the threat to all news people if even just a few use it for a cover.