Gershkovich’s sister: Getting letters from Russian jail is ‘like Christmas morning’

Evan Gershkovich’s sister, Danielle, said that receiving letters from her brother, who has been detained in Russia for close to a year, is “like Christmas morning.”

Danielle Gershkovich said she is “grateful” to get a glimpse of her brother Evan through photos of him in court and that they write letters to each other once a week, which keeps her “going.”

“My letters are getting longer and longer,” Danielle Gershkovich told NewsNation anchor Connell McShane on Thursday. “But it’s a chance for me to feel like I’m sitting with him, talking to him. And every time a letter comes, it feels like Christmas morning.”

Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was arrested last March in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg and has been held in detention ever since.

His detention was extended Tuesday to June 30. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said “absolute silence” is necessary for prisoner swaps to occur.

In response, Danielle Gershkovich said the approach of being loud and keeping Evan’s name in the mainstream will not differ.

“We made a decision early on that we were going to be loud and vocal about this and keep Evan in the news, and we are supported by The Wall Street Journal and the U.S. government doing so, and we will continue to do so, not let Evan’s story be forgotten,” she said.

Evan Gershkovich was charged with a suspicion of espionage while on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg and was detained by the Federal Security Service.

Former Marine Paul Whelan has been held in Russia since 2018. The country also is still holding Russian American journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, who reports at Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

“But what we can do right now is to continue to put a spotlight on Evan and just not let anyone forget about his story,” she said Thursday.

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