Joe Parkinson and Drew Hinshaw of The Wall Street Journal profile colleague Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in Russia earlier this week.
Parkinson and Hinshaw write, “Mr. Gershkovich, 31 years old, is the American son of Soviet-born Jewish exiles who had settled in New Jersey. He fell in love with Russia—its language, the people he chatted with for hours in regional capitals, the punk bands he hung out with at Moscow dive bars. Now, espionage charges leave him facing a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years.
“His employer, colleagues and the Biden administration all deny Russia’s claim that he was spying on behalf of the U.S., and have called for his immediate release. Diplomats and legal experts see little hope Mr. Gershkovich, a reporter accredited by the Russian foreign ministry, will immediately be freed, given that espionage trials in Russia are conducted in secret and almost always end in a conviction.
“Five and a half years earlier, Mr. Gershkovich showed up in Russia as media freedoms were fading. He spent his weekends chatting about music, politics and the news in the banya, or sauna, and was always ready to help competing journalists. His Russian friends knew him not as Evan, but Vanya.”
Read more here.