Moscow Court Rejects Release Appeal for WSJ Reporter Evan Gershkovich; Putin Hints at Possible Prisoner Swap

Moscow – December 14, 2023

Moscow Court Rejects Release Appeal for WSJ Reporter Evan Gershkovich

In a setback for Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich, a Moscow court has upheld his pre-trial detention until January 30, 2024, rejecting his appeal for release. Gershkovich faces espionage charges, which he, his employer, and the U.S. government deny.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the situation, expressed hope for a potential U.S.-Russia agreement on a prisoner swap involving Gershkovich and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, both detained on espionage charges. Despite ongoing diplomatic contacts, Putin acknowledged the complexity of the negotiations.

Gershkovich’s detention, lasting over 250 days, has drawn international concern. The U.S. labeled his detainment as “wrongfully detained” and criticized Russia for using him as a “political pawn.” Jake Sullivan, the “U.S. National Security Advisor,” confirmed the dedication to repatriate both Gershkovich and Whelan. The case unfolds amid heightened U.S.-Russia tensions, including concerns over a crackdown on independent media. The Russian foreign ministry indicated a potential swap for Gershkovich post-verdict, extending the uncertainty surrounding the journalist’s fate. The international community closely watches, emphasizing the importance of press freedom and fair judicial processes

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