President Biden says he is still working on bringing home Evan Gershkovich, an American journalist and Bowdoin College graduate who has been imprisoned in Russia for the past year.

Biden Russia Gershkovich

Evan Gershkovich

Gershkovich, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, was arrested while working in Russia one year ago Friday.

Biden said Friday that the anniversary of Gershkovich’s arrest is a “painful” one for a man wrongfully detained.

“Journalism is not a crime, and Evan went to Russia to do his job as a reporter – risking his safety to shine the light of truth on Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine,” Biden said in a statement.

“We will continue working every day to secure his release,” the statement continued. “We will continue to denounce and impose costs for Russia’s appalling attempts to use Americans as bargaining chips. And we will continue to stand strong against all those who seek to attack the press or target journalists – the pillars of free society.”

Gershkovich, 32, covers Russia for the Wall Street Journal. He was arrested on espionage charges, which he and his employer have denied as “bogus and baseless.” On Tuesday, a Moscow court ordered that his arrest be extended until June 30. It’s unclear when he will go to trial, as Russian courts have extended his pretrial detention several times.


The Wall Street Journal published a mostly blank front page Friday with Gershkovich’s picture on top. The headline read, “His Story Should be Here.”

“We remain optimistic and reliant on President Biden’s promise to Evan’s family that he will bring Evan home,” Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Emma Tucker wrote in a letter the paper published Friday. “In the past year, we also have been extremely grateful for the outpouring of support for Evan from readers, government officials and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as news outlets and well-wishers far and wide.”

Gershkovich graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 2014. While there, he worked for the Bowdoin Orient and studied art and philosophy.

This report contains material from The Associated Press.

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