Free Evan

Today marks a year since WSJ correspondent Evan Gershkovich was taken hostage by the FSB

Free Evan


One year on from his arrest on obviously fabricated espionage charges, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich remains in Moscow’s Lefortovo jail, an infamous detention facility under the de facto control of the Russian security services.

Gershkovich was detained by the FSB in Yekaterinburg on 29 March 2023 while on a reporting assignment and was formally charged with espionage a day later, in the first Russian espionage case against a US journalist since the Cold War. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years behind bars.

Just three days ago, on 26 March, Gershkovich briefly appeared in court for a hearing extending his arrest until June 30. Outside the court on Tuesday, US Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy branded the accusations against Gershkovich “categorically untrue”, adding that his detention was solely about “using American citizens as pawns to achieve political ends”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated in February that he was open to a prisoner swap that included Gershkovich, suggesting that he might be exchanged for Russian assassin Vadim Krasikov, who is currently serving a life sentence in Germany for a politically-motivated killing in a Berlin park in 2019.

Associates of slain opposition leader Alexey Navalny have said that the Kremlin had been in talks to exchange Navalny and “two unnamed US citizens” for Krasikov in the days leading up to Navalny’s death in February.

Gershkovich remains in touch with his family through prison correspondence. In a letter to his family one month after his arrest, he assured his loved ones he was “not losing hope”.

“I want to say that I am not losing hope. I read. I exercise. And I am trying to write. Maybe, finally, I am going to write something good.”

Novaya Gazeta Europe stands with Evan Gershkovich and calls for his immediate release.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.