The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Evan Gershkovich, jailed Wall Street Journal reporter, to stand trial in Russia

Prosecutors accuse the Wall Street Journal reporter of collecting intelligence about a Russian military manufacturing plant, then passing that information on to the CIA.

Prosecutors accuse the Wall Street Journal reporter of collecting intelligence about a Russian military manufacturing plant, then passing that information on to the CIA.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich appears at a hearing in a Russian courtroom on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. (Photo via social media)
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich appears at a hearing in a Russian courtroom on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. (Photo via social media)

A Wall Street Journal reporter who has been jailed in Russia for more than a year on dubious charges of espionage will stand trial after prosecutors in the country referred the matter to court this week.

On Thursday, Reuters said an indictment accused Evan Gershkovich of collecting information for the American government, including the Central Intelligence Agency, while covering the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Specifically, Gershkovich is accused of gathering information on a Russian manufacturing plant called UralVagonZavod, which makes tanks and other military equipment for Russia’s military. The alleged collection purportedly happened in March 2023, according to the indictment.

The Journal most recently covered the UralVagonZavod this March. None of the stories on the WSJ’s website under Gershkovich’s byline concern the facility, though Gershkovich did author an article about military equipment shortages plaguing the Russian government. The story, published in March 2023, included an assertion that Russian leaders had ordered manufacturing plants to step up production. It did not name UralVagonZavod specifically.

The Journal has called for the release of Gershkovich, saying he was unlawfully arrested on trump-up charges of spying that have not been supported by any evidence. At the time of his arrest last year, Gershkovich was credentialed to work in Russia as a member of the news media. The Journal says his activities in the country and neighboring ones were purely journalistic.

American officials have echoed calls for Russia to release Gershkovich, who has been held in a local jail since his arrest. The U.S. State Department has designated him as a wrongfully-detained individual. There have been negotiations with Russian officials to secure his release.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.

[rank_math_breadcrumb]