Russia Releases Brittney Griner in Prisoner Exchange

Russia has freed U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner in a high-level prisoner exchange, according to a U.S. official.


News reports say the U.S. released notorious Russian arms dealer Victor Bout as part of the deal.

President Joe Biden tweeted that he spoke to Griner and that “She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home.”


“After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under a tolerable circumstances. Brittany will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones and she should have been there all along,” Biden said later at the White House.

Griner, the twice Olympic gold medalist was arrested February 17 at a Moscow airport with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which is banned in Russia. She was sentenced August 4 to nine years in a penal colony on charges of possessing and smuggling drugs.

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