Reporter Evan Gershkovich to stand trial in Russia

The Russian prosecutor’s office ended any hopes that Gershkovich could be released on any pre-detention appeals.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is facing espionage charges in Russia and will stand trial in the Sverdlovsk Regional Court.

The Russian prosecutor’s office announced on Thursday that he will stand trial. 

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The big picture: The Russian prosecutor’s office accused Gershkovich of collecting secret information on a defense enterprise in the Sverdlovsk region on the instructions of the CIA in March 2023.

  • Gershkovich has denied the espionage allegations, and the U.S. State Department has declared him to be wrongfully detained.
  • The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones CEO, and the U.S. government strongly refute the espionage accusations, emphasizing that Gershkovich was merely doing his job as a reporter.

Go deeper: Gershkovich, who was arrested in March 2023 while on a reporting trip, has spent over 400 days wrongfully detained in a Russian prison.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the case, acknowledging the U.S. administration’s efforts for Gershkovich’s release but suggesting that such matters are not resolved through the media.
  • Gershkovich’s parents remain optimistic about their son’s case, while the U.S. continues to negotiate for his release, along with that of another U.S. citizen, Paul Whelan, who has also been wrongfully detained in Russia.
  • The U.S. Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs indicated that Gershkovich’s trial is likely to commence after he is moved to Yekaterinburg, with concerns about the potential period of limited contact during the transition.
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