Paul Whelan remains 'hopeful' for release from Russia, brother says

The imprisoned American Paul Whelan who was sentenced to 16 years in Russia believes his moment of freedom could soon be coming, his brother told FOX 2. 

In a text, David Whelan said Paul believes he would be released, but it could be more than a year before he can come home.

"Paul seems hopeful that the US is continuing to work on his case and that should help his morale," David wrote.

Despite his optimism, David also didn't have any particular news that would suggest he could be coming home soon. Paul told CNN in a report that he was confident the "wheels are turning" toward his release.

He spoke to the news source from a prison camp in Mordovia, which is in a remote part of Russia.

MORE: U.S. ambassador meets with imprisoned Paul Whelan in Russia

Whelan was wrongfully detained in Russia in 2018 on charges of espionage. While other Americans who have since been imprisoned in Russia have been freed, like Brittney Griner and Trevor Reed, the Novi-native hasn't been as lucky, seeing his case fall by the wayside as other negotiations have continued. 

In speaking with CNN, Whelan mentioned he had concerns about getting home after Russia wrongfully detained American journalist Evan Gershkovich.