U.S. government officials hailed the arrival of WNBA star Brittney Griner in Texas on Friday, after 10 months in Russian custody. “So happy to have Brittney back on U.S. soil,” the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, Roger D. Carstens, tweeted. “Welcome home BG!”
Washington secured her release in a prisoner deal with Moscow in exchange for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. The Kremlin said Friday the high-profile swap, after months of negotiations, did not indicate a step toward resolving U.S.-Russian diplomatic tensions over the conflict in Ukraine.
The talks about swapping Griner and Bout created “a certain atmosphere” between officials but did not evolve into broader dialogue, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a televised news conference Friday during a visit to Kyrgyzstan. “Are any other [prisoner] exchanges possible? Everything is possible,” he said.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
4. From our correspondents
War has tamed Ukraine’s oligarchs, creating space for democratic change: Interviews with more than two-dozen current and former Ukrainian and U.S. officials, analysts and others show that the conflict has diminished the power of a group of wealthy Ukrainians who held outsize influence in the country and have been accused of corruption, Kevin Sullivan, David L. Stern and Kostiantyn Khudov report.