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Russia turns down ‘significant’ U.S. proposal for release of Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan

Source: Meduza

Russian authorities have rejected Washington’s new proposal for the release of journalist Evan Gershkovich and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, reports Reuters, citing State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller. According to Miller, the undisclosed offer was “significant.”

Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich was arrested in late March in Ekaterinburg and charged with espionage. Gershkovich denies the accusations. Since early April, he has been in pre-trial detention in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison. In September 2023, Gershkovich’s family submitted a petition to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, asking for help in his release.

Russian police arrested Paul Whelan in December 2018, claiming to have apprehended him in possession of classified intelligence. A Moscow court sentenced him to 16 years in a maximum-security prison for espionage in June 2020. Whelan maintains his innocence. In late November, Whelan was reportedly assaulted by a fellow inmate.

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