President Joe Biden said Thursday that WNBA star Brittney Griner had been freed from a Russian jail.
According to CBS News, in exchange for her freedom, the US government would allegedly return convicted international weapons dealer Viktor Bout to Russia. Bout, dubbed the “Merchant of Death,” was sentenced to 25 years in jail after being convicted of conspiracy to kill Americans, among other things.
Retired US Marine Paul Whelan, who has been imprisoned in Russia on espionage accusations for the past four years, is apparently not included in the prisoner swap.
“Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones and she should have been there all along,” Biden said, standing beside Griner’s wife, Cherelle, on Thursday morning.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the exchange took place at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the United Arab Emirates. Griner will then be flown to a military medical facility in San Antonio for health evaluation, according to NBC News.