Sep 15, 2023 - Politics & Policy

U.S. ambassador again visits detained WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich in Russia

Evan Gershkovich appears at a Moscow court on June 22. Photo: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy met with detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in Moscow Friday, per the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Driving the news: Gershkovich, who the U.S. has declared "wrongfully detained," remains "strong and is keeping up with the news," the embassy said.

  • Tracy has visited Gershkovich several times.
  • The embassy noted Gershkovich was aware his family appeared at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday to advocate for the reporter's release.
  • The embassy reiterated its call Friday for the immediate release of Gershkovich and former Marine Paul Whelan.

The big picture: The visit comes weeks after a Moscow court extended Gershkovich's detention by three months, keeping him behind bars until at least Nov. 30.

  • Gershkovich's arrest in March marked the first time a U.S. journalist was detained in an espionage case in Russia since the Cold War, per the Committee to Protect Journalists.
  • Russian authorities detained him while he was on a reporting trip in the city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,000 miles east of Moscow.
  • At the time of his arrest, the FSB accused Gershkovich of trying to obtain classified information "on the instructions of the United States" — an allegation the Wall Street Journal "vehemently" denied.

Of note: Gershkovich is being held at Moscow's Lefortovo Prison, known for its harsh conditions.

What to watch: President Biden said in July that he intended to pursue a prisoner swap for Gershkovich.

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