WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from Russian detention and is expected to land in San Antonio, a military official with knowledge of the effort told The Washington Post.
Moscow released the athlete in a swap for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to two senior administration officials and a separate statement from Russia’s Foreign Ministry. Biden approved the release of Bout more than a decade after his conviction, commuting his 25-year prison sentence.
Brittney Griner released from Russian prison
The latest: WNBA star Brittney Griner landed in the United States around 5:30 a.m. ET Friday in San Antonio.
Prisoner trade deal: Her release was part of a prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Nicknamed the “merchant of death,” Bout is a notorious arms dealer and has been in U.S. custody since his arrest in Thailand in 2008. It’s unclear why Moscow officials were so eager to bring him home.
Why was Griner detained?: Griner had been imprisoned in Russia since February, when she was accused of entering the country with vape cartridges that contained less than a gram of cannabis oil, which is illegal in the country.