WNBA star Britney Griner released from Prison in Russia
Two time Olympic gold medal list and WNBA star Britney Griner has been released from Prison in Russia.
This took place yesterday in a dramatic high-level prisoner Exchange, with the U.S. releasing notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
The swap, at a time of heightened tensions over Ukraine, achieved a top goal for president Joe Biden, but carried a heavy price — and left behind an American jailed for nearly four years in Russia.
The deal, the second such exchange in eight months with Russia, procured the release of the most prominent American detained abroad.
Griner whose months long imprisonment on drug charges brought unprecedented attention to the population of wrongful detainees.
President Biden spoke with Griner on the phone yesterday while her wife, Cherelle, was in the Oval office.
The Russian foreign ministry also confirmed the swap, saying in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that the exchange took place in Abu-Dhabi and that both had been flown home.
Griner was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in February when customs officials said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage.
She pleaded guilty in July, though still faced trial because admitting guilt in Russia’s judicial system does not automatically end a case.