Brittney Griner is officially coming home as United States President Joe Biden announced early Thursday morning that WNBA star Brittney Griner had been released from Russian custody as part of a prisoner swap with the country.
Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner.
She is safe.
She is on a plane.
She is on her way home. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022
“Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home,” Biden said in his Tweet.
The prisoner swap sends convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who has been nicknamed “The Merchant of Death” back to Russia in return for Brittney Griner, as has been speculated for several months. However, it was also speculated that imprisoned former United States Marine Paul Whelan would also be part of the prisoner swap trade. But according to a report from CNN, Whelan was not released along with Griner.
WNBA superstar Brittney Griner had been in Russian custody for nearly an entire year after she was convicted on drug charges for accidentally bringing a small amount of hashish oil into the country. She was given a nine-year prison sentence after her appeal was denied last month, Brittney Griner has begun serving her prison sentence in a high-security Russian penal colony where she faced unbelievably harsh conditions and unfair conditions in what is basically legalized slavery.