Congress Demands Russia Release Who?

Photo by Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash

( – On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a joint statement calling for the release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was detained by Russia last week on espionage charges.

The two Senate leaders in their statement condemned the actions taken by Russia, pointing out that Gershkovich is an “internationally known and respected independent journalist.” Following his arrest on March 29, the U.S. embassy has been completely denied access to him, and the Russian authorities have not provided “any credible evidence to justify their fabricated charges.”

Gershkovich was arrested during a reporting trip to the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, he is an accredited journalist by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has alleged that Gershkovich “was caught red-handed” trying to gain access to classified information through the use of his journalist status. The White House has stated that Gershkovich is not a spy and the Journal has also pointed out that he had been sent there on a reporting trip.

The Journal also disclosed that on Tuesday lawyers met with Gershkovich and claimed that he is in good health while being held at Lefortovo prison in Moscow, which is one of the most isolating prison experiences in Russia.

Schumer and McConnell also pointed out that Paul Whelan, a U.S. Marine, is also still imprisoned in Russia for espionage charges and that he too needed to be released.

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