Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich has been in jail for a year, after being detained by Russian authorities on March 29, 2023.

He then, according to ABC News, was charged on espionage, and earlier this week received an extension for another three months for his pre-trial detention — despite the WSJ and the U.S. government denouncing his charges as false.

Gershkovich’s detention is the first for an American journalist in Russia since the last days of the Cold War, per NPR.

Who is Gershkovich? What happened to him?

The WSJ journalist, 32, was born and raised in New Jersey in a dual-language household: English and Russian, reported NPR.

In March last year, Gershkovich was sent out on a reporting assignment in Russia’s Ural mountain city Yekaterinburg, where he was detained by agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or the FSB.

He has since been held in Russia’s Lefortovo Prison, spending 90% of his day in a small cell, waiting to be brought back to the U.S., per WSJ’s updates.

There is hope for his release

Emma Tucker, Editor in Chief for WSJ, told CNN that she believes “there are enough pieces in place” and “enough goodwill” that Gershkovich will be freed by next year.

His family have support and optimism for his release with the U.S. government’s help. “I think if you let the pessimism in ... the game is over,” his mother, Ella Milman said to ABC’s Good Morning America. “And our saying in the family is we’re moving forward. Moving forward.”

“And he says that he’s fighting. He’s fighting,” Milman added.

President Joe Biden echoed this optimism in a statement on Friday: “As I have told Evan’s parents, I will never give up hope either,” Biden said, per ABC News. “We will continue working every day to secure his release ... And we will continue to stand strong against all those who seek to attack the press or target journalists — the pillars of free society.”

If convicted, Gershkovich could face a prison sentence of up to 20 years, according to the Deseret News.

Related
Russian American journalist detained in Russia could face up to 5 years in prison