A Hearing Date has been Set for WSJ Reporter Evan Gershkovich as Russian Trial Moves Forward

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is scheduled to go on trial in Russia on June 26. The announcement was made on Monday. 

Evan has been in Moscow's Lefortovo prison for more than a year now. He was based out of the WSJ's Moscow bureau when he was detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in Yekaterinburg during a reporting trip. The hearing is set to be held at the Sverdlovsk Regional Court in Yekaterinburg.


In response to the request for comment after this latest development in Evan's case on Monday, a spokeswoman for Wall Street Journal owner Dow Jones referred to a statement made last week when Evan was indicted.

Dow Jones Chief Executive and Wall Street Journal publisher Almar Latour and Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Emma Tucker said Gershkovich was “facing a false and baseless charge,” demanded his immediate release and urged the Biden administration “to redouble efforts to get Evan released.”

“Evan is a journalist. The Russian regime’s smearing of Evan is repugnant, disgusting, and based on calculated and transparent lies,” they said. “Journalism is not a crime. Evan’s case is an assault on the free press.”

The 32-year-old Gershkovich is an American citizen and is accredited to work in Russia. He was arrested on charges of espionage. Evan, the Wall Street Journal, and the United States deny that he is a spy. Biden administration officials have designated Gershkovich as wrongfully detained. It has been reported that the administration has been working to secure his release.

Russian authorities falsely alleged last week that Gershkovich was gathering information about a defense contractor on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency.


A Russian court said the judicial proceedings in Evan's case will be held in secret. The first hearing in the regional court will be on June 26.

Russian authorities haven’t publicly presented evidence to back up their allegations against the reporter.

Gershkovich is expected to be transferred from Moscow to Yekaterinburg for the June 26 court hearing. At a trial, Gershkovich would receive little, if any, of the due process he would be afforded in the U.S. or other countries. It isn’t known how long the reporter’s trial will last.

Putin has indicated that he would be willing to do a prisoner swap for Evan if an agreement can be reached with United States officials. He didn't say which Russian he had in mind for a swap. Putin has indicated that he is interested in getting Vadim Krasikov, a Russian serving a life sentence in Germany for killing a Chechen emigre in a Berlin park in 2019, back as part of a prisoner swap. 

Allegedly, talks are ongoing.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday that Russia was in contact with the U.S. regarding Gershkovich but didn’t plan to disclose details.

The contacts “are going on and must continue to be carried out in complete information silence,” state news agency TASS quoted Peskov as saying. “No announcements…can be made,” he said.


Unfortunately for Evan, the Biden administration does not have a good record of bringing Americans home. The State Department is run by the very inept Tony Blinken, a longtime Biden aid. Since October 7, 2023, Biden and Blinken have been busy trying to micromanage Israel's war against Hamas, putting the administration's finger on the scale in favor of Hamas. 

Evan is the first journalist held in Russia since the Cold War. Putin is holding an increasing number of American citizens hostage for leverage. Joe Biden is weak on the world stage. Putin does not fear the United States as long as Biden is in office. He acts with impunity. Biden has made the world a dangerous place for American citizens.

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