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One year after Evan Gershkovich's arrest in Russia, Biden vows to 'keep working every day' for his release

Washington — President Biden promised Friday that he would “continue to work every day” to secure the Wall Street Journal reporter's release. Evan Gershkovich The American journalist has been released from Russian custody as his term of imprisonment in Russia has reached the one-year mark.

“We will continue to condemn and impose costs on Russia's horrific attempts to use Americans as bargaining chips,” Biden said in a statement Friday. Paul Whelananother American detained in Russia since 2018.

Gershkovitch — U.S. State Department deemed to have been “unlawfully detained” He is still awaiting trial on spying charges, which the White House, his family and his employer say were fabricated shortly after his arrest, but could still result in a sentence of decades in prison.

The American-born son of Soviet exiles spent six years covering Russia as the Kremlin made independent on-the-ground reporting increasingly dangerous and illegal.

Top Shot - Russia - USA - Journalist
Evan Gershkovitch, a journalist arrested on suspicion of espionage, stands in the defendant's cage before a hearing to consider his appeal against his arrest at the Moscow City Court in Moscow, April 18, 2023.

Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty


His arrest in March 2023 on espionage charges, the first charges against a Western journalist since the Soviet era, puts the Kremlin in what President Vladimir Putin has called a “hybrid war” with the West. has shown that it is ready to go further than ever before. .

The Journal and the U.S. government are likely to dismiss the spying allegations as a false pretext to keep Gershkovic in captivity and use him as a bargaining chip in a future prisoner exchange agreement.

President Putin said last month that he wanted Gershkovych released as part of a prisoner exchange, but the Biden administration said Moscow had rejected the latest exchange offer put forward.

The 32-year-old suspect is being held until at least the end of June and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Gershkovic's family said in a letter published Friday in the Wall Street Journal that they would move forward with their campaign for his release.

“We never expected a situation like this to happen to our son and brother, much less that we would go an entire year without certainty or a clear path forward.” they spoke. “But despite this long battle, we still stand strong.”

Gershkovitch reported extensively on how ordinary Russians experienced the war. ukraine conflict, spoke to the families of the dead soldiers and to critics of Putin. Before his arrest, Gershkovic spoke to his friends and said it was becoming increasingly difficult to get people to talk.

But unless it was impossible, he found a reason to be there.


President Zelenskiy talks about Ukraine's ability to win war with Russia

02:15

“He knew that people who were being followed and talked to in some articles would be pressured not to talk to him,” Peter Sauer, a close friend and Guardian correspondent, told AFP. he said. “But he had been certified by the Foreign Office. I don't think any of us could have fathomed that the Russians would go so far as to accuse him of this bogus spying charge.”

Speaking to CBS News' Leslie Stahl last week, the reporter's sister Danielle said that despite Gershkovic's repeated promises of recognition, her family in the United States will remain as safe as ever. Even though he thought so, he said he was still worried.

But as Stahl reported, what was once unheard of in Russia has become almost routine under President Putin. Gershkovitch is just the latest American to become a pawn in Putin's geopolitical chess game against the West.

Whelana US Marine Corps veteran, has been imprisoned in Russia for five years. Russian-American ballerina Ksenia Karelina He was arrested in January on charges of treason for supporting Ukraine.and Basketball star Brittney GreinerAfter nine months in prison on drug charges, he was finally released in exchange with a notorious arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death.”

Summarize this content to 100 words Washington — President Biden promised Friday that he would “continue to work every day” to secure the Wall Street Journal reporter's release. Evan Gershkovich The American journalist has been released from Russian custody as his term of imprisonment in Russia has reached the one-year mark.”We will continue to condemn and impose costs on Russia's horrific attempts to use Americans as bargaining chips,” Biden said in a statement Friday. Paul Whelananother American detained in Russia since 2018.Gershkovitch — U.S. State Department deemed to have been “unlawfully detained” He is still awaiting trial on spying charges, which the White House, his family and his employer say were fabricated shortly after his arrest, but could still result in a sentence of decades in prison.

The American-born son of Soviet exiles spent six years covering Russia as the Kremlin made independent on-the-ground reporting increasingly dangerous and illegal.

Evan Gershkovitch, a journalist arrested on suspicion of espionage, stands in the defendant's cage before a hearing to consider his appeal against his arrest at the Moscow City Court in Moscow, April 18, 2023.

Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty

His arrest in March 2023 on espionage charges, the first charges against a Western journalist since the Soviet era, puts the Kremlin in what President Vladimir Putin has called a “hybrid war” with the West. has shown that it is ready to go further than ever before. .

The Journal and the U.S. government are likely to dismiss the spying allegations as a false pretext to keep Gershkovic in captivity and use him as a bargaining chip in a future prisoner exchange agreement.President Putin said last month that he wanted Gershkovych released as part of a prisoner exchange, but the Biden administration said Moscow had rejected the latest exchange offer put forward.The 32-year-old suspect is being held until at least the end of June and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.Gershkovic's family said in a letter published Friday in the Wall Street Journal that they would move forward with their campaign for his release.

“We never expected a situation like this to happen to our son and brother, much less that we would go an entire year without certainty or a clear path forward.” they spoke. “But despite this long battle, we still stand strong.”Gershkovitch reported extensively on how ordinary Russians experienced the war. ukraine conflict, spoke to the families of the dead soldiers and to critics of Putin. Before his arrest, Gershkovic spoke to his friends and said it was becoming increasingly difficult to get people to talk.But unless it was impossible, he found a reason to be there.

President Zelenskiy talks about Ukraine's ability to win war with Russia

02:15

“He knew that people who were being followed and talked to in some articles would be pressured not to talk to him,” Peter Sauer, a close friend and Guardian correspondent, told AFP. he said. “But he had been certified by the Foreign Office. I don't think any of us could have fathomed that the Russians would go so far as to accuse him of this bogus spying charge.”Speaking to CBS News' Leslie Stahl last week, the reporter's sister Danielle said that despite Gershkovic's repeated promises of recognition, her family in the United States will remain as safe as ever. Even though he thought so, he said he was still worried.But as Stahl reported, what was once unheard of in Russia has become almost routine under President Putin. Gershkovitch is just the latest American to become a pawn in Putin's geopolitical chess game against the West.Whelana US Marine Corps veteran, has been imprisoned in Russia for five years. Russian-American ballerina Ksenia Karelina He was arrested in January on charges of treason for supporting Ukraine.and Basketball star Brittney GreinerAfter nine months in prison on drug charges, he was finally released in exchange with a notorious arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/evan-gershkovich-russia-wrongfully-detained-1-year-moscow-biden/ One year after Evan Gershkovich's arrest in Russia, Biden vows to 'keep working every day' for his release

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