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After Being Released from a Russian Prison, Brittney Griner Arrives in San Antonio

After being released in a prisoner swap with Russia, WNBA star Brittney Griner arrived in the United States early on Friday. After being released from a Russian prison, Brittney Griner arrives in San Antonio. Around 4:30 in the morning, the plane carrying Griner has seen landing.

According to a live broadcast, it was a local time in San Antonio. Griner’s descent was captured on camera. Roger D. Carstens, the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage matters, tweeted on Friday, “So glad to have Brittney back on U.S. soil.” “BG, welcome home! ”

Following her release in a prisoner swap with Russia, WNBA star Brittney Griner disembarks at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, on Friday, December 9, 2022. A senior administration official told CNBC on Thursday that the Olympic gold medalist’s wife, Cherelle Griner, and her parents are anticipated to welcome her at a medical center in San Antonio where she would be transported upon arrival.

Brittney Griner was released in exchange for the Russian “Merchant of Death,” which the United States adores.
Viktor Bout, a Russian arms trader known as the “merchant of death,” who had been sentenced to 25 years in Illinois for conspiring to murder Americans and supplying the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) with weapons, was exchanged for Griner on Thursday.

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As of Friday, Bout is already in Moscow, according to Russian state media. He was spotted hugging his mother and wife when he arrived at an airport in the Russian capital in real-time. He told reporters, “They just woke me up in the middle of the night and told me to pack my belongings.

After spending ten months in a Russian prison, Griner’s return to the United States was warmly received. In her honor, Houston’s city hall was lit up in red, white, and blue on Thursday night, according to Mayor Sylvester Turner (D). Speaking on Thursday at the White House, President Biden noted that the exchange was the outcome of a “painstaking and difficult” process.

Others remarked on how unequal the prisoner swap was. Days prior to Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, Griner, a WNBA player for a Russian team, was detained. She was found guilty of bringing into Russia vape cartridges that contained less than a gram of cannabis oil, which is prohibited in the nation, and was given a 912-year prison term as a result. According to her attorneys, it had a medical prescription, and the State Department deemed her incarceration to be “wrongful.”

One of the most active arms dealers in the world was Bout, a 55-year-old former Soviet military interpreter. Nicolas Cage’s character in the Hollywood film “Lord of War” was based on him because of his transgressions, which the United Nations had accused him of using as justification for benefiting from the sale of weapons that sparked bloody strife throughout the African continent.

Following a Drug Enforcement Administration sting, Bout was taken into custody in Thailand in 2008. He had been detained in a unique, stringent section of a U.S. federal jail known as “Little Guantánamo.”

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The United Arab Emirates, a strong security ally of the United States that has also welcomed numerous Russians following sanctions imposed on Moscow during the invasion of Ukraine, enabled the swap. In edited footage from Russian state media, Griner and Bout may be seen briefly passing one another on a runaway in Abu Dhabi. “We’ve been working toward this day for a very long time. We never gave up trying to get her out,” Biden stated.

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