April 01, 2024

A Year in the Life of Evan Gershkovich


A Year in the Life of Evan Gershkovich
Evan Gershkovich AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File

On March 29, 2023, a Moscow court arrested American journalist Evan Gershkovich on charges of espionage. Gershkovich, Moscow correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, has been held in the Lefortovo Prison ever since; his detention period continues to be extended. 

In a press briefing on March 29, President Biden said that he works every day to get Gershkovich released and holds Gershkovich in high regard. On the same day, the Wall Street Journal left a blank space on its front page with Gershkovich's signature and the note "His Story Should be Here."

In his interview with President Putin last month, Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson asked if Putin planned to release Gershkovich. The Russian president responded obliquely that an exchange could be made for a Russian being jailed abroad, referring to the alleged former FSB officer Vadim Krasikov. Krasikov was convicted of the 2019 Berlin killing in Berlin of Zelimkhan “Tornike” Khangoshvili, a 40-year-old Georgian citizen who had fought Russian troops in Chechnya and later claimed asylum in Germany. Krasikov is serving a life sentence.

Gershkovich was detained on a work trip to Yekaterinburg and the next day was sent to a pre-trial detention center in Moscow, where he remains today. He is the first Western journalist to be arrested for espionage since the end of the Cold War. According to his family, Gershkovich spends his days in captivity reading Russian novels, writing letters home, and exercising. His friends, family, and colleagues continue to advocate for him at home. 

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