'Let him go': President Joe Biden calls on Russia to free WSJ reporter

'Let him go': President Joe Biden calls on Russia to free WSJ reporter
Wall Street Journal reporter, Evan Gershkovich, Image via PBS/Screengrab

President Joe Biden is demanding the release of Wall Street Journal reporter, Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested and detained earlier this week in Russia for "spying," Vanity Fair reports.

Some experts believe, according to Vanity Fair, 31-year-old Gershkovich could "be used in yet another prison swap," as "Ivan Pavlov, a defense attorney who has worked on espionage cases, told The Guardian: 'They've chosen a well-known journalist from an authoritative media outlet. The idea is to have an ace up their sleeve for negotiations.'"

Vanity Fair reports, while boarding a helicopter Friday, the president said, "Let him go."

READ MORE: 'Check the torture cellar': Russian mercenary boss leaves U.S. reporter disturbing message about a 'corpse'

Additionally, CNN reports the WSJ said a statement the publication "vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB" — Russia's top security service — "and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter."

Earlier this week, Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said, "In the strongest possible terms, we condemn the Kremlin’s continued attempts to intimidate, repress, and punish journalists and civil society voices."

Vanity Fair reports:

The news of Gershkovich's detainment is monumental not only because it is remarkably unusual, but also because it falls at a time where tensions between the US and Russia are high due to their positions on the ongoing war in Ukraine, and as high-profile prison swaps between the two superpowers have made recent headlines.

The journalist is expected to be in custody until May 29, according to Vanity Fair, and "the charges against him carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years."

READ MORE: Why Ukraine is increasingly a nuclear headache for world powers

Vanity Fair's full report is available at this link. CNN's report is here.

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