Time magazine O published on its website an annual list of the 100 most influential people. American Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested in Russia for espionage, and American basketball player Brittney Griner, detained in Russia for 10 months for drug trafficking, made it happen. At the end of 2022, she was exchanged for the Russian Viktor Bout.
A Time article on Gershkovich says the journalist faces up to 20 years in prison in Russia. “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin can use (the Gershkovich affair) to extract concessions from the United States, and if one of the results is to further isolate his country, that might suit him. The fewer journalists like Gershkovich there are in Russia, the more freedom Putin has to rule with lies,” writes Time senior correspondent Simon Schuster.
Brittney Greiner’s detention in Russia has drawn attention to the pay disparity between female athletes, which “sometimes forces us to put ourselves in dangerous situations”, five-time Olympic basketball champion Sue Bird wrote in a note. In addition, Greiner advocates the release of “dozens of Americans illegally detained around the world.”
The Gershkovich and Greiner cases
Brittney Greiner was arrested in February 2022 at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. The double Olympic champion in the American team played in Russia for the women’s basketball club UMMC of Yekaterinburg. She flew to Moscow from New York.
In Greiner’s luggage, they found a vape with cartridges containing hash oil. Against the athlete opened a criminal case for illegal possession and drug trafficking. In court, she explained that American doctors had prescribed her marijuana as an anesthetic and that she had carelessly put the vape in her bag.
In August, the Khimki City Court sentenced Greiner to nine years in prison and a fine of 1 million rubles. In November, she was transferred to the penal colony of Mordovia. A month later, the basketball player was traded for Viktor Bout, who spent nearly 15 years in a US prison for conspiring to sell weapons to a Colombian terrorist organization.
WSJ journalist Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Yekaterinburg at the end of March 2023. According to the FSB, he collected secret information about one of Russia’s military-industrial complex companies. He became the first foreign journalist arrested in Russia since 1986.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Gershkovich’s work in Yekaterinburg “has nothing to do with journalism.”
The Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov noted that the journalist was “in the act”.
According to Bloomberg sources, Gershkovich’s arrest was initiated by high-ranking members of the Russian special services, and the Russian president personally approved of this decision.
Who Else Made Time’s 100 Most Influential People List
The participants of the list are divided into several categories – “Artists”, “Idols”, “Pioneers”, “Leaders”, “Titans” and “Innovators”.
The Artists category includes actors and actresses Michael B. Jordan, Drew Barrymore, Austin Butler (star of the Elvis film about Elvis Presley), Salma Hayek, Zoe Saldana, Colin Farrell and writer Neil Gaiman.
Time included Britain’s King Charles III, actor Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian, The Last of Us) and writer Salman Rushdie among the “idols”.
Among the most influential ‘leaders’ were Ukrainian President’s wife Olena Zelenskaya, Ukrainian human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Alexandra Matviychuk, US President Joe Biden, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. .
Supermodel Bella Hadid and rapper Doja Cat are included in the “Trailblazers” category. Time’s “Titans” include billionaire Elon Musk, Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, singer Beyoncé and actress Padma Lakshmi. Influential innovators include Bob Iger, Chairman of The Walt Disney Company, and French footballer Kylian Mbappe.
Read the Latest Ukraine War News on The Eastern Herald.