A Moscow court has postponed American journalist Evan Gershkovich’s criminal trial by at least three months on the request of
A Moscow court has postponed American journalist Evan Gershkovich’s criminal trial by at least three months on the request of prosecutors.
The Wall Street Journal reporter was arrested by Russian authorities on March 29 on allegations of espionage. Gershkovich and Washington have denied the accusations. Gershkovich’s pretrial detention order was due to expire today. He has appealed the decision to extend it; the court rejected a similar attempt to appeal the original order in April.
As the first American journalist arrested by Russian authorities since the end of the Cold War, Gershkovich’s imprisonment’s is yet another indicator of deteriorating Russo-American relations since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Should diplomatic efforts by Washington to free the journalist fail—which would most likely be achieved by a prisoner swap, similar to the one arranged to free Brittney Griner in December—Gershkovich is all but certain to be convicted given the political nature of the case and Russia’s non-independent judiciary. In the medium to long-term, human rights violations against American nationals is only likely to draw Washington and Moscow farther apart on the possibility of a diplomatic resolution to the Ukraine crisis and a restoration of pre-war relations.