GErshkovich was arrested on March 29, 2023 in the city of Yekaterinburg and subsequently accused of collecting secret information about the activities of the Wagner Group, involved in the military offensive in Ukraine, and must remain in pre-trial detention until at least June 30.

The arrest of the journalist – the first American media professional to be detained on Russian soil since the end of the Cold War – occurred days after the American newspaper published an article he wrote under the title “The Russian economy is start to fall apart.”

“People are not bargaining chips. Russia should end its practice of arbitrary detention of people for political influence and should immediately release Evan [Gershkovich] and Paul [Whelan]”, a former marine detained for more than five years, warned the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

According to Blinken, the United States is committed “to bringing Evan and Paul home”, indicating that Russia “did not provide sufficient evidence”, in this case, against the journalist, because he “did nothing wrong” and “journalism It’s not a crime.”

“In the year since Evan’s unjust detention, the already limited Russian media landscape has become more oppressive, with a continued attack on independent voices, targeting any form of dissent,” he maintained.

In a note, the Wall Street Journal today recalled the journalist as a “talented reporter” and that it was past time for him to return home.

“The world has changed dramatically in the past year. During that time, the world for our colleague Evan Gershkovich has been inside a small cell in a notorious Moscow prison, where he awaits trial on a false charge,” noted the American newspaper.

Evan was detained by Russian security services on March 29, 2023, while reporting for the Wall Street Journal in Yekaterinburg as a journalist accredited by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the search for independent journalism and the collection of reliable facts — the hallmarks of what we stand for — are considered a crime. Evan is accused of espionage, which (…) we vehemently deny,” mentioned.

The Wall Street Journal also considered the reporter’s detention “a blatant attack on the rights of a free press” and an example of the threats that media organizations face, “in an environment that has become increasingly dangerous for journalists who put themselves in front line”.

“It’s a reminder of the dangers journalists face around the world as they pursue their essential mission. And it gives us energy to continue the effort to ensure this is Evan’s last milestone in prison,” he concluded.

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted in February, in an interview with American journalist Tucker Carlson, the possibility of releasing Gershkovich, as long as he observed “reciprocal steps” on the part of the American authorities.

Washington and Moscow have agreed on several prisoner exchanges in the past.

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