Reporter Still Jailed

( – The Russians are firm in their decision to keep prisoner a US reporter in their territory, even though they don’t seem to have good enough reasons to do so.

A US journalist, Evan Gershkovich, will stay in a Russian jail for at least another month. This decision marks a year since his arrest. A Moscow court dismissed an appeal to free him early, keeping him until March 30.

Gershkovich, working for the Wall Street Journal, was arrested in Yekaterinburg last March. He faces spying charges, which he, his employer, and the US deny. The White House says he’s held for no good reason. Russia hasn’t shown proof to back up the spying claims.

This case is rare. Gershkovich is the first Western reporter in Russia accused of espionage after the Soviet era. His latest court hearing was just a formality, not about the spying claim itself.

The US ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, was at the court. She said, “The charges against Evan are baseless. The Russian government has locked Evan up simply for reporting news,” as reported by the Moscow Times.

Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned a possible trade for Gershkovich’s freedom earlier this month. He suggested an exchange with Vadim Krasikov, a Russian in jail in Germany. But there’s no sign this swap is happening.

In December, the US said Russia turned down offers to free Gershkovich and Paul Whelan. Whelan has been in Russian jail since 2018 on similar charges, which he also denies.

As Gershkovich’s one-year mark approaches, his situation highlights the dangers journalists face and the tense US-Russia relations.