American Journalist Evan Gershkovich To Be Tried On Trumped-Up Spying Charges By Russian Regime


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Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich will stand trial in Russia for espionage charges largely believed to be baseless after prosecutors approved an indictment, NBC News reported Thursday.

Russian authorities arrested Gershkovich in March 2023, accusing him of spying for the CIA. The Wall Street Journal vehemently denies the notion that Gershkovich is a foreign spy. President Joe Biden has repeatedly called for his release, calling the detention “unacceptable.”

“The targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable. We condemn the detention of Mr. Gershkovich in the strongest terms,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a March 2023 statement.

Authorities arrested the 32-year-old in the Ural Mountain town of Yekaterinburg, accusing him of collecting information on a Russian tank manufacturing plant, UralVagonZavod, according to NBC.

Russia accuses Gershkovich of acting “on instructions from the CIA” to collect “secret information” from UralVagonZavod “for the production and repair of military equipment.” They also say “Illegal actions were carried out by Gershkovich in compliance with careful measures of secrecy,” though they offer no evidence for those claims, according to NBC. (RELATED: WSJ Leaves Front Page Story Blank For Detained Reporter Evan Gershkovich)

He will be tried at Sverdlovsk Regional Court in Yekaterinburg at an unknown date, NBC reported.

He has been held at Russia’s Lefortovo Prison, notorious for harsh conditions, according to NBC. His numerous appeals have been rejected and the country has extended his pretrial detention multiple times, most recently until June 30, according to NBC.

Besides Biden, numerous American leaders have called for his release including former President Donald Trump, who promised if elected in November he would secure his liberty, and Senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell.

“Let there be no mistake: journalism is not a crime. We demand the baseless, fabricated charges against Mr. Gershkovich be dropped and he be immediately released and reiterate our condemnation of the Russian government’s continued attempts to intimidate, repress, and punish independent journalists and civil society voices,” McConnell and Schumer said in a rare joint statement in April 2023.