Evan Gershkovich’s friend speaks out ahead of trial in Russia on espionage charges: ‘Foregone conclusion’

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Evan Gershkovich’s friend speaks out ahead of trial in Russia on espionage charges: ‘Foregone conclusion’

New York Times reporter Michael Schwirtz, a friend of imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, said that he has remained “upbeat and energetic” despite facing a trial Wednesday in Russia. 

“The image that [the Russian government is] projecting is that he’s already a prisoner and that he’s already convicted,” Schwirtz said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends” in response to video of Gershkovich appearing in a Russian courtroom with a shaved head. 

Gershkovich, 32, was arrested in March 2023 in Yekaterinburg on espionage charges, with Russian authorities alleging he was gathering secret information for the CIA, a claim he, his employer and the U.S. government deny.

EVAN GERSHKOVICH’S CLOSED-DOOR TRIAL ON ESPIONAGE CHARGES BEGINS IN RUSSIA, WHERE A CONVICTION IS EXPECTED

New York Times reporter Michael Schwirtz, a friend of imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, said that he has remained “upbeat and energetic” despite facing a trial Wednesday in Russia.  (Fox News)

“I don’t think there’s a lot of people out there that don’t think that the outcome of this trial is a foregone conclusion,” Schwirtz added.

“He was arrested in order to be convicted,” Schwirtz said. “As everyone has pointed out, the Russian government hasn’t provided a shred of evidence to indicate that he’s guilty of what they’re claiming he’s guilty of, which is working for the CIA. As everyone knows, he was a journalist in Moscow, he had been working there for years without problems.” 

Schwirtz also described Gershkovich’s attempts to connect with friends and family, even while imprisoned in Russia. 

HOSTAGE EXPERT PLEASED RUSSIA EVEN MENTIONED POSSIBLE PRISONER SWAP FOR WSJ REPORTER EVAN GERSHKOVICH

Evan Gershkovich

“He gets a lot of mail,” Schwirtz said, adding that Gershkovich “plays chess with his father” and that he recently read “A Gentleman in Moscow,” a novel about a Russian aristocrat who lives for 30 years under house arrest in a hotel.  (The Wall Street Journal via AP)

“He’s a prolific letter writer for someone who is completely cut off from the world,” Schwirtz said. 

“He gets a lot of mail,” Schwirtz said, adding that Gershkovich “plays chess with his father” and that he recently read “A Gentleman in Moscow,” a novel about a Russian aristocrat who lives for 30 years under house arrest in a hotel. 

“He continues to be, even after 16 months locked away, upbeat and energetic,” Schwirtz said. 

The Wall Street Journal has continued to support Gershkovich and criticize his imprisonment in Russia. 

“Evan Gershkovich is facing a false and baseless charge. … The Russian regime’s smearing of Evan is repugnant, disgusting and based on calculated and transparent lies. Journalism is not a crime,” Wall Street Journal publisher Almar Latour and chief editor Emma Tucker said after his trial date was announced. “We had hoped to avoid this moment and now expect the U.S. government to redouble efforts to get Evan released.”

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Fox News’ Landon Mion contributed to this report. 

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