Russia detained an American reporter in the latest challenge for the Biden White House. The arrest of the Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich is a sign that the administration’s approach to Russia may have backfired.
The reporter was arrested this week on espionage charges. The detention is a sign that Russia was able to take advantage of Biden, according to Washington Post deputy editor Karen Tumulty.
The most recent arrest may be the latest iteration of a prisoner exchange back and forth between Washington and Moscow.
Before the most recent arrest, the United States and Russia negotiated the release of basketball player Brittney Griner.
Griner was arrested in Russia for carrying marijuana vape cartridges into the country. She was exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout after ten months in prison.
Bout was serving a 25-year sentence in an American prison after a conviction of conspiracy to kill American citizens. Bout was nicknamed the “Merchant of Death” following a number of prominent arms deals with wartorn nations in Africa.
According to Tumulty, there is “no evidence of espionage.” She added that Moscow must have “made a calculation” that the Griner exchange “really worked out in their favor.” The result, the editor implied, may be that Russia will try to exchange Gershkovich for a prominent Russian.
The Washington Post writer was not the only one to draw the same conclusion. The son of former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. said that the arrest showed a potential Russian strategy.
I wonder why Russia would do this? It’s not like they figured out that if they did this they could say trade him for a high value international arms dealer… oh wait NVM.
No one could have seen it coming?
Wall Street Journal reporter imprisoned in Russia https://t.co/hDBQnIWCH9
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) April 1, 2023
The former president’s son said that about Russia that it was “not like they figured out that if they did this they could say trade him for a high-value international arms dealer.”
The detention of the reporter also comes at a time when an undisclosed number of Americans were fighting alongside Ukrainian forces in their war against Russia. Moscow has previously warned that it would treat foreign fighters in a manner similar to spies.
The usual penalty for spying is death.
So far, no Americans have been reported captured in the war between Russia and Ukraine. However, at least six Americans have died during the conflict.