Hostage Diplomacy and Russia’s Arrest of Wall Street Journal Reporter Evan Gershkovich

On March 29th, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Russia and charged with espionage. The charges are spurious, but the intentions are clear: Evan Gershkovich is now a hostage in Russia and his release will require a delicate diplomatic balancing act.

My guest today Dr. Dani Gilbert is an academic who studies what she calls “Hostage Diplomacy.” She is the Edelson Fellow in US Foreign Policy and International Security at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College.

We last spoke in June 2022, following the arrest of the American basketball star Britney Griner. In our conversation today, we discuss the differences and similarities between the Griner case and the Gershovich situation. We also discuss what processes might lead to Gershkovich’s release and how this latest wrongful detention of an American abroad fits into larger patterns around government sponsored hostage taking.

To listen to this episode on your favorite podcast listening app, go here.