On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” Washington Post columnist and Deputy Editorial Page Editor Karen Tumulty said that Russia’s “appalling” detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich earlier in the week took place because Vladimir Putin “made a calculation” that Russia’s detention of Brittney Griner “really worked out in their favor. They released her, and they got a really bad guy back” in the subsequent prisoner swap where the United States released arms dealer Viktor Bout in order to obtain Griner’s release by Russia.
Tumulty stated that the detainment of Gershkovich “speaks to the way [Putin] is treating dissidents and critics in the country.”
She continued, “It is appalling, because there is absolutely no evidence of espionage. But I do think that he made a calculation that the whole Brittney Griner — the basketball player — situation really worked out in their favor. They released her, and they got a really bad guy back. So, I just don’t know how the Biden administration handles this, but I think all of us need to keep attention on this and to continue to demand, as loud as we can, that he be released, because there is no evidence of espionage.”
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