The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Russia must immediately free journalist Evan Gershkovich

Journalism is never a crime.
Photo Courtesy / YouTube Wall Street Journal

As the war in Ukraine enters its second year, Russia again is further distancing itself from the rest of the developed world. This time for the arrest of a journalist doing his job.

Evan Gershkovich, a Russian correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, was arrested by Russian authorities on March 29 under bogus accusations of espionage by Russia’s Federal Security Bureau. 

Gershkovich was on assignment in Yekaterinburg, a town in the Urals region of Russia, before he was ultimately apprehended at a steakhouse by authorities. Since then, his arrest has been condemned by the White House and the State Department, which also deny the false claims that Gershkovich was spying. 

Since the arrest, western news outlets have begun taking their reporters out of Russia, with some deeming it unsafe for journalism. 

The incident highlights the insecurity of Putin’s regime in Russia. Autocracies will never match up to nations with competent leaders because competent leaders aren’t afraid of transparency. This incident shows the rest of the world how scared Putin is about finding out what’s really happening in his administration.

After all, if it weren’t for Gershkovich’s reporting, the rest of the world wouldn’t know that Putin has no idea what’s happening in the war. Like a child, he can’t stand the truth about the consequences of his actions, so he demands only the positives when receiving briefings from his advisors. 

The following quote from the story tells you all you need to know: “Through the summer, delegations of military experts and arms manufacturers emerged from presidential meetings questioning whether Mr. Putin understood the reality on the battleground…”

Though it likely won’t, it should also show Americans with sympathy towards Russia that Putin is entirely opposed to the values Americans hold dear. Freedom of speech and press is enshrined into our first amendment. Don’t expect a 70-year-old man with the insecurity of a teenager to respect the rest of our nation’s values.

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About the Contributor
Sergio Padilla, Opinion Editor
Sergio is a junior journalism and business administration student currently serving as Opinion Editor. He joined The Torch in 2021 as a contributing writer. He is born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Outside of The Torch, Sergio has bylines in the San Antonio Business Journal and Pensions & Investments. When he's not writing, you can find him at the gym, watching cowboy movies or in line at Dunkin' Donuts. Sergio can be reached at [email protected]

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