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Brittney Griner Released By Russia in Prisoner Swap

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WNBA star Brittney Griner, the WNBA was released from a Russian prison Thursday morning in a one-for-one prisoner swap for international arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Bout was sentenced to 25 years in U.S. prison in 2012 on charges of conspiring to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles, and provide material support to a terrorist organization.

According to CBS News, the exchange was approved and signed off by President Joe Biden last week. The U.S. was initially trying to get a two-for-one swap for Griner and Paul Whelan, an American corporate security executive, but Whelan has not yet been released.

Griner was convicted on drug charges and sentenced to nine years in prison after Russian authorities found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage. Griner, who had been detained in Russia since February, pled guilty to bringing hashish oil into Russia. She told the judge that she “inadvertently” traveled with the cartridges but was shown no mercy in Russia’s dealings with her.

Biden is set to make his remarks on Griner’s release later this morning.

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