1 of 2 | Brittney Griner is seen on a plane ahead of departing for the United States. Griner, sentenced to 9 years in a Russian penal colony for drug smuggling, was freed in a prisoner exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. File Photo courtesy of Russian Federal Security Service/UPI | License Photo
April 2 (UPI) -- Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who was detained in Russia for nearly 10 months on drug charges, expressed "great concern" on Saturday for Evan Gershkovich -- a reporter for the Wall Street Journal accused of espionage.
"Our hearts are filled with great concern for Evan Gershkovich and his family since Evan's detainment in Russia," Griner and her wife, Cherelle, said in a statement on Instagram.
"We must do everything in our power to bring him and all Americans home."
Griner, 32, also expressed appreciation to President Joe Biden for his administration's "deep commitment to rescue Americans."
"We celebrate their recent successful efforts to bring home Jeff Woodke and Paul Rusesabagina," Griner said. "Every American who is taken is ours to fight for and every American returned is a win for us all."
Gershkovich, 31, was arrested by Russia's Federal Security Services, or FSB, in the city of Yekaterinburg on Thursday and accused of acting as a spy for the U.S. government.
"It has been established that E. Gershkovich, acting on behalf of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex," Russia's main security agency said.
Gershkovich entered a not-guilty plea in front of Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court and the newspaper has denied the charges and demanded his release.
According to the New York Post, his arrest marked the first time an American journalist has been detained in Russia on espionage charges since the Cold War.