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WNBA star Brittney Griner was released from prison in Russia, In exchange for an arms dealer

According to a senior administration official, the Biden administration secured the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner from a Russian jail camp in return for an arms dealer. She was released on Thursday.

Paul Whelan, an American corporate security executive who is still imprisoned in Russia, had to be left behind, but President Joe Biden approved the deal, which was done in the United Arab Emirates.

In statements delivered from the White House on Thursday morning, Biden said, "She is safe, she is on a plane, and she is on her way home." She should have been present the entire time, but she will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones.

Paul Whelan - Former US Marine Imprisoned in Russia

The United States has refuted the spying allegations against Whelan, who is currently serving a 16-year prison term. Those with direct knowledge of the discussions for his release claim that the Russians insisted on receiving a Russian spy in exchange for Whelan's freedom. According to the U.S., it does not have any Russian spies and has no one to exchange in order to satisfy the Kremlin's demand.

“I’m proud that today we have made one more family whole,” Biden said, adding that he will continue to work to free Whelan. “We’ll keep negotiating for Paul’s relief. I guarantee it.”

According to a senior administration official, Cherelle Griner, the wife of Brittney Griner, was present in the Oval Office with Biden and the two were able to speak with her on the phone.

Speaking following Biden, Cherelle Griner expressed her "sincere gratitude" for the work of Biden and numerous other leaders she specifically highlighted.

According to a senior administration official, Griner will be taken to a medical facility in San Antonio where she will receive treatment. Apparently, Cherelle Griner, will meet her there.

Viktor Bout is escorted by members of a special police unit after a court hearing in Bangkok October 5, 2010. Sukree Sukplang | Reuters

Viktor Bout, who Russian President Vladimir Putin has been trying to get back and who had served 11 years of a 25-year sentence in the United States, is being returned to the Kremlin in what is one of the most high-profile prisoner swaps between Moscow and Washington since the end of the Cold War.

After a trial that highlighted the strained relations in the midst of Russia's conflict in Ukraine, the 32-year-old Phoenix Mercury player was the focus of protracted and frequently public negotiations between the two nations. Both Griner and Whelan's release had been sought after by the Biden administration.

“I’m telling you, I am determined to get her home and get her home safely — along with others, I might add,” Biden said of the situation on Nov. 9.

CBS first reported Griner’s release.

1 comment

1 Comment

Horrible deal that was made. How do you trade “the merchant of death” for a basketball player?

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