Thursday Dec 08, 2022
Basketball star Brittney Griner has been released in US-Russia exchange of prisoners.
On December 8, US President Joe Biden stated in an address from the White House that these "past few months have been hell for Brittney" but she is doing okay now.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Griner was released in an exchange between United States and Russia where in return for the two-time Olympic gold medalist, the US freed convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
The outlet further reports that the swaps come at a time of heightened tensions over Ukraine but underscored an achievement of Biden who deemed it a high priority despite carrying a heavy price of leaving an American jailed for nearly four years in Russia.
Biden's administration freed a notorious man, also nicknamed "the Merchant of Death" which highlights the escalating pressure that his administration faced to get Griner home, particularly after the recent resolution of her criminal case and her subsequent transfer to a penal colony.
Biden tweeted, "Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home."
Russian foreign ministry also confirmed the swap in a statement carried out by its media that the exchange took place in Abu-Dhabi.