Brittney Greener Urges President Biden to Bring Home Wall Street Journal Reporter Held in Russia as She Expresses Concern on Social Media — After Being Detained for 10 Months
Brittney Greener has urged the Biden administration to continue using “every tool possible” to win the release of an American reporter accused of spying in Russia.
“Our hearts are filled with grave concern,” Greiner and her wife Cheryl wrote on Instagram for Ivan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal columnist who was arrested last week by Russia’s FSB security service in the Ural city of Yekaterinburg.
The Kremlin says Gershkovitch was using the press as a cover for espionage activity — something his newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, has vehemently denied.
Russia has not announced any evidence to support the charges, under which Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in prison. The White House called the accusations “ridiculous” and President Joe Biden called on Moscow to release him.
Griners said they appreciate Biden’s “deep commitment to saving Americans.” They cited the cases of aid worker Jeff Woodkey, who was released last month after being kidnapped for more than six years in West Africa, and Paul Rusesabagina, a permanent US resident who returned home last week after being released from prison in Rwanda.
Brittney Griner has urged the Biden administration to reinstate a detained Wall Street Journal journalist
Wall Street Journal reporter Ivan Gershkovitch is being held in Russia over allegations that he is an American spy
Greiner, who has been held in Russia for 10 months, released a statement with his wife on Saturday
“Our hearts are filled with grave concern for Ivan Gershkovitch and his family since Ivan’s arrest in Russia,” the statement read.
We are grateful to President Biden and his administration’s deep commitment to saving Americans. We celebrate their recent successful effort to bring Jeff Woodke and Paul Rusesabagina home.
Every American that is taken is ours to fight for, and every American that is returned is a win for all of us. That’s why we and all of our supporters can celebrate the victory and encourage the administration to continue to use every tool possible to bring Evan and all wrongly detained Americans home.
Greiner, who has played professionally in Russia since 2014, was returning to the country last February when she was stopped at a Moscow airport with electronic cigarette cartridges containing cannabis oil.
In the end, Grenier was found guilty in August and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison. A subsequent appeal was denied in October.
She was released from a Russian penal colony on December 8 after Biden authorized the arms exchange, returning convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as the ‘dealer of death’, to Russia.
Since returning to the United States, Griner has signed a one-year deal with the Phoenix Mercury—the last WNBA team she played for before she was taken into custody.
Griner’s first game will be broadcast on ESPN when the WNBA season begins in May.
Greiner arrived at Kelly Field in San Antonio after being released in a prisoner exchange in December
Griner missed the entirety of last season after being jailed, last playing in the WNBA in 2021