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News Every Day |

WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich’s family, employer speak out as ‘sham’ closed-door trial begins in Russia

Beloved Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich's "sham" trial in Russia on espionage charges kicked off Wednesday as his family and employer continue to demand his immediate release. 

The 32-year-old American reporter has been detained in Russia since March 2023, accused of "gathering secret information" for the CIA. The United States government and The Wall Street Journal have both called the charges ridiculous. 

"These past 15 months have been extraordinarily painful for Evan and for our family. We miss our son and just want him home. We’re deeply disappointed that he will have to endure further attempts to discredit him and to paint a picture that is unrecognizable to anyone who knows him. Evan is a journalist, and journalism is not a crime. We urge the US government to continue to do everything possible to bring Evan home now," the Gershkovich family said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital


Gershkovich appeared in the courtroom Wednesday morning in a glass cage, with his head shaven, according to The Associated Press. Dow Jones CEO Almar Latour and Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Emma Tucker have blasted the "sham" trial. 

"Today our colleague Evan Gershkovich faced the Russian regime’s shameful and illegitimate proceedings against him. It’s jarring to see him in yet another courtroom for a sham trial held in secret and based on fabricated accusations. While we are told he’s doing well given the circumstances, Evan’s wrongful detention continues to be a devastating assault on his freedom and his work and an unfathomable attack on the free press. It’s outrageous that he has already endured 455 days in prison when he never should’ve been arrested," Latour and Tucker said in a joint statement. 

"The underlying facts have not changed: Evan is a journalist who was accredited by the Russian government, and journalism is not a crime," they continued. "The time to bring Evan home is now, and we continue to demand his immediate release."

Gershkovich is standing trial in the city of Yekaterinburg, where he was arrested last year during a reporting trip. The American-born son of Soviet immigrants was indeed accredited by Russia's Foreign Ministry to report in the country at the time of his arrest.

If convicted, which is expected, Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in prison. Russian courts convict more than 99% of defendants and prosecutors can appeal sentences that they believe to be light. Prosecutors can even appeal acquittals.


The Russian Prosecutor General's office said Gershkovich is accused of gathering secret information on orders from the CIA about Uralvagonzavod, a plant that produces and repairs military equipment about 90 miles north of Yekaterinburg.

The U.S. has declared him wrongfully detained and repeatedly called for his immediate release.

The Wall Street Journal has arranged numerous events to keep Gershkovich in the public consciousness, with runs, social media storms, Read-A-Thons, a recent BBQ, and various other efforts. Friends, family and admirers have been able to exchange letters with him, though they are screened by Russian authorities.

Gershkovich is the first American journalist to be arrested on spying allegations since the Cold War, underscoring the rock-bottom relations between the U.S. and Russia. In the past year, Gershkovich has been on the cover of TIME Magazine and mentioned in the State of the Union address by President Biden. 


Biden has personally called repeatedly for Gershkovich's release to no avail, and the journalist has continually lost appeals to end his pretrial detention. Former President Trump said earlier this year that the reporter would be freed if he was elected again.

Experts and people familiar with the case have told Fox News Digital the best hope of freedom for Gershkovich — and fellow American held in Russia Paul Whelan — is a high-profile prisoner swap.

Russia has suggested a prisoner exchange for Gershkovich could potentially happen in the future, but such a swap is not likely until a verdict is reached in his case.

Anyone interested in learning more about Gershkovich can visit and


Fox News Digital’s David Rutz and Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report. 


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