Supporters Concerned as Secret Trial of Evan Gershkovich ’14 Gets Underway

By Tom Porter
As he approaches the end of his fifteenth month behind bars in Russia, jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich ends his time in pretrial detention as he heads to trial—behind closed doors.
gershkovich panel at 2024 reunion
Friends and supporters of Gershkovich gather recently at the Bowdoin 2024 alumni reunion. Sam Silverman '14 is seated on the left.

The secret trial is due to get underway on June 26, 2024, in the Siberian city of Yekaterinburg, where Gershkovich was arrested in March 2023 while on a reporting assignment— the first American journalist jailed by the Russian government since the end of the Cold War.

He is being charged with espionage activities, although no evidence has been presented by Russian authorities to substantiate the charges. Both the White House and The Wall Street Journal have vigorously denied any accusation that Gershkovich was involved in espionage.

“We’re trying to keep Evan in the public consciousness,” said Gershkovich’s friend and classmate Sam Silverman ’14, in an interview with The Portland Press Herald. “We want people to know about this situation where an American citizen has essentially been taken hostage by a foreign government and used as a political pawn,” he added.

The newspaper also quoted Professor of Government Laura Henry, a scholar of contemporary Russia politics and Eastern Europe. “It’s somewhat of a shock to find ourselves back at this moment,” she said, reflecting on how poor US-Russia diplomatic relations have become since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. “Evan has always been a really intrepid and impressive reporter in Russia,” added Henry.

Those interested in supporting the campaign to free Evan Gershkovich can visit

Gershkovich in the media: read a summary of the press coverage since his arrest.