Trump claims Putin will free WSJ journalist Gershkovich ‘for him’

Evan Gershkovich
Evan Gershkovich

Former U.S. President Donald Trump said that—if re-elected in November—he would leverage his connections with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to secure the release of Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich from prison, Reuters reported on May 23.

In a post on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump suggested that the journalist would shortly after the U.S. presidential elections this year.

“Evan Gershkovich, the Reporter from The Wall Street Journal, who is being held by Russia, will be released almost immediately after the Election, but definitely before I assume Office,” said Trump.

He did not clarify on what grounds he believes Putin would release the journalist.

The campaign committee for sitting U.S. President Joe Biden said that securing Gershkovich's release "remains an urgent priority," and accused Trump of using "wrongfully detained Americans as political props."

In an interview with U.S. journalist Tucker Carlson in February, Putin effectively admitted that Russia is willing to exchange Gershkovich for Vadim Krasikov, an FSB officer convicted of murder.

The Lefortovo Court in Moscow arrested Gershkovich on March 30, 2023. Russian intelligence agencies claimed that he was collecting information about a Russian defense enterprise on behalf of the United States.

He was detained in Yekaterinburg, accompanied by publicist Yaroslav Shirshikov, who said that Gershkovich was preparing a report on Wagner PMC and the war in Ukraine.

The Wall Street Journal rejects the Russian regime's allegations and demands the immediate release of the journalist.

The United States recognized Gershkovich's arrest as unlawful, allowing the state to negotiate on his behalf. His case will be handled by the State Department unit that typically handles hostage negotiations.

According to Bloomberg, the arrest of the journalist was personally approved by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine