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Evan Gershkovich's parents will attend State of the Union address

The parents of the detained journalist will be guests of House Speaker Mike Johnson. Bringing their son home has support on both sides of the aisle.
Posted at 3:12 PM, Mar 07, 2024

With an upcoming court date set for their son later this month, Evan Gershkovich's parents will be making an appearance at the State of the Union address as Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson's guests.

Bringing their son home from Russia has support on both sides of the aisle — rare bipartisan support.

In a statement, Gershkovich's parents, Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich, said, "We are grateful to Speaker Johnson for inviting us to attend the State of the Union and for providing the opportunity to highlight Evan's wrongful detention. We're also grateful to President Joe Biden for his continued work on Evan's behalf. Evan is an American and he was doing his job as a journalist. He is most importantly a beloved son and brother, and we want him home."

It's a plea echoed by his sister, Danielle Gershkovich, who spoke to Scripps News last month.

"My brother is not a spy. He's a journalist. And he's my brother," she said. "I want him home. Please — whatever, whatever it would take. Please, I just want my brother home."

In a recent interview, Russian president Vladimir Putin said there was the potential to make a deal.

"I believe an agreement can be reached," he said.

It is a deal that could involve a prisoner exchange for Gershkovich and Paul Whelan — another American and a former Marine who is also wrongfully detained by Russia.

The exchange would be for Vadim Krasikov, a Russian security services agent convicted in Germany of a political assassination in 2021.

However, Germany was reportedly only willing to release Krasikov if Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny were included in the exchange. The recent death of Navalny may complicate any such deal.

In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal's publisher, Almar Latour, told Scripps News in a statement that he welcomes the bipartisan support to get Evan Gershkovich home.

"It has been nearly one year since Evan was arrested for simply doing his job," Latour said. "Threats to free press are growing at an alarming rate with far-reaching consequences, and Evan's plight should concern all Americans and anyone who values a free and democratic society."

He reiterated that journalism is not a crime.

WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich's family seeks his release from Russia
Danielle Gershkovich

WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich's family seeks his release from Russia

Scripps News sat down with Danielle Gershkovich as her brother's detention by Russia approaches the one-year mark.