Russian court reject appeal for release for Evan Gershkovich

The Wall Street Journal reporter has been in a Russian jail for over a year.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s appeal for release on espionage charges has been rejected by a Moscow court, extending his pretrial detention until at least June 30th.

Gershkovich, a 32-year-old US citizen, was detained in late March 2023 while on a reporting trip and has been held behind bars for over a year. 


Driving the news: The allegations against him have not been detailed, and both he and the Wall Street Journal deny the charges, with the US government declaring him to be wrongfully detained.

  • Moscow analysts suggest that the Kremlin may be using jailed Americans as bargaining chips in high-tension negotiations with the US, including the country’s military operation in Ukraine.
  • At least two US citizens imprisoned in Russia – including WNBA player Brittney Griner – have been exchanged for Russians jailed in the US in recent years.
  • In December, the US State Department announced it had made a significant offer to secure the release of Gershkovich and another American jailed in Russia on espionage charges, which was said to be rejected by Russia.
  • The Kremlin has not discussed the talks publicly, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noting that “they must be carried out in absolute silence.”
  • Gershkovich is the first US reporter to be arrested on espionage charges in Russia since 1986, when a Moscow correspondent for U.S. News and World Report was detained by the KGB before being released in a swap.
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