Advertisement

Supporters swim for jailed WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich as one-year anniversary of Russian arrest looms

Colleagues of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich take a plunge at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn on Saturday to call for his release as the one-year anniversary of his arrest in Russia nears.
Colleagues of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich take a plunge at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn on Saturday to call for his release as the one-year anniversary of his arrest in Russia nears.

Dozens of swimmers braved frigid temps and incessant rain Saturday to make waves for Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich ahead of the one-year anniversary of his arrest.

Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Emma Tucker joined about 25 people to dive into the chilly water off Brighton Beach in Brooklyn as part of a multinational effort to raise awareness of Gershkovich’s detention on espionage charges during a reporting trip in Russia on March 29, 2023.

Wade Lambert, a senior Wall Street Journal news editor, said he joined other reporters, editors and members of open-water swim clubs from Coney Island and Brighton Beach for the event.

“I think the temperature was 44 degrees,” Lambert told the Post.

“I’m so cold right now and so sick of this rain, but it was totally worth it. We just want to raise awareness to help express our call for his release.”

Lambert said Tucker led the newspaper’s representation in Brooklyn, while other journalists swam at other 10 beaches across the globe, including the UK’s Brighton Beach.

Wall Street Journal reporter Alistair MacDonald, who works in London, took part in the UK swim with about 40 others.

Similar events took place in New Zealand and Australia, he said.

“It was cold, it was very cold,” MacDonald told the Post.

Dozens of swimmers swam off Brighton Beach in Brooklyn on Saturday to raise awareness for Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich ahead of the one-year anniversary of his arrest. AP
Dozens of swimmers swam off Brighton Beach in Brooklyn on Saturday to raise awareness for Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich ahead of the one-year anniversary of his arrest. AP
Colleagues of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich take a plunge at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn on Saturday to call for his release as the one-year anniversary of his arrest in Russia nears. Aristide Economopoulos
Colleagues of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich take a plunge at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn on Saturday to call for his release as the one-year anniversary of his arrest in Russia nears. Aristide Economopoulos

“Bizarrely, just before we were about to get in, the clouds parted and we all jumped in. So the sun was shining today for this event for Evan Gershkovich.”

Gershkovich, 32, had family ties to Brighton Beach and occasionally swam there while visiting his grandmother, Lambert said.

In 2022, he joined the Wall Street Journal following stints in Russia with Agence France-Presse and the Moscow Times.

Wall Street Journal senior news editor Wade Lambert, who helped organized the “Swim for Evan” event in Brooklyn, said he hopes it raises awareness across the world and helps get Gershkovich released. Aristide Economopoulos
Wall Street Journal senior news editor Wade Lambert, who helped organized the “Swim for Evan” event in Brooklyn, said he hopes it raises awareness across the world and helps get Gershkovich released. Aristide Economopoulos
Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Emma Tucker, left, also took part in Saturday’s swim. Aristide Economopoulos
Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Emma Tucker, left, also took part in Saturday’s swim. Aristide Economopoulos

Gershkovich was taken into custody in Yekaterinburg while on a reporting assignment.

Both he and the Wall Street Journal deny the allegations that he was spying for the US.

The State Department has declared him wrongfully detained.

The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp., which is also the parent of the Post.

US Ambassador Lynne Tracy visited Gershkovich in jail on Thursday, officials said.

“Evan remains strong and resilient, but it is a tragedy that he is awaiting trial for a crime he did not commit,” the American embassy in Moscow wrote on social media.