Biden insists he’s still working on a prisoner swap to free Evan Gershkovich from Russian prison as top Republicans and Democrats in Congress issue rare joint statement on the anniversary of his arrest


President Joe Biden and top political leaders slammed Putin‘s ‘fabricated charges’ against American journalist Evan Gershkovich and demanded his release on the one-year anniversary of his detainment in Russia.

On March 29, 2023, American Wall Street Journal Russia correspondent Evan Gershkovich was arrested by Russian authorities on espionage charges. 

He, his employer and the U.S. government – including its top leaders – deny the allegations, and have reiterated that the journalist has done nothing wrong. 

President Joe Biden released a statement on the one year anniversary of his detention slamming the ‘unjust and illegal detention’ of the journalist and said he’s still working on a potential prisoner swap.

‘We will continue working every day to secure his release,’ said Biden. ‘We will continue to denounce and impose costs for Russia’s appalling attempts to use Americans as bargaining chips.’

‘And we will continue to stand strong against all those who seek to attack the press or target journalists—the pillars of free society.’

Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges, looks out from inside a defendants' cage before a hearing to consider an appeal on his extended pre-trial detention, at the Moscow City Court on February 20, 2024

Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges, looks out from inside a defendants’ cage before a hearing to consider an appeal on his extended pre-trial detention, at the Moscow City Court on February 20, 2024

Top Congressional Democrats and Republicans and President Joe Biden have all claimed that Gershkovich is being wrongfully detained

Top Congressional Democrats and Republicans and President Joe Biden have all claimed that Gershkovich is being wrongfully detained 

President Joe Biden released a statement Friday on the 'painful anniversary' of Gershkovich's 'wronfgul detention in Russia'

President Joe Biden released a statement Friday on the ‘painful anniversary’ of Gershkovich’s ‘wronfgul detention in Russia’

‘To Evan, to Paul Whelan, and to all Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad: We are with you. And we will never stop working to bring you home.’

The 32-year-old has been detained in a Moscow prison since last year after being arrested in Russia’s fourth-largest city Yekaterinburg.

He spends 23 hours a day in a prison cell, according to the Wall Street Journal, and meets with his Russian lawyers weekly.  

Gershkovich still has yet to start his trial. 

His pre-trial detention has been extended five times, most recently extended even further this week, according to Moscow court officials

The journalist’s detention was extended another three months and he will be imprisoned until at least July 30. 

Even more appalling, he faces up to 20 years in a Russian penal colony should he be convicted, however, as the pre-trial detention extensions continue, it is unclear when his trial will begin.  

Speaker Mike Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries also slammed Gershkovich’s imprisonment in a rare joint statement Friday.  

‘Evan Gershkovich, an American citizen and reporter for The Wall Street Journal, has now spent a year wrongfully detained by Putin’s government.’

‘We continue to condemn his baseless arrest, fabricated charges, and unjust imprisonment.’

‘Today, Putin is restoring Soviet-style control through repression at home and aggression abroad.’

The joint statement from the Congressional leaders is a rare show of bipartisanship in a politically divided Washington, D.C.

The joint statement from the Congressional leaders is a rare show of bipartisanship in a politically divided Washington, D.C. 

Danielle Gershkovich, sister to detained journalist, Evan Gershkovich, wears a pin reading #IStandWithEvan

Danielle Gershkovich, sister to detained journalist, Evan Gershkovich, wears a pin reading #IStandWithEvan

‘On the anniversary of Evan Gershkovich’s captivity, we reaffirm the importance of his work,’ the joint statement from the Congressional leaders continued.

‘Journalism is not a crime, and reporters are not bargaining chips.’

‘The Kremlin’s attempts to silence Evan and intimidate other Western reporters will not impede the pursuit of truth,’ they wrote. 

Despite the comforting words from the highest-ranking politicians in America, it is uncertain that they have made headway in securing his release.  



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