Britteny Griner Has Been Released! [VIDEO]
WNBA star Brittney Griner, who has been in prison in Russia for the last 10 months, was released Thursday, December 8, 2022! Griner was set free after the U.S. closed a deal to a prisoner swap of a Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death.”
President Biden confirmed the American basketball stars released, from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, with Cherelle Griner, Griner’s wife, by his side. The POTUS announced Griner would touchdown in the U.S. in roughly 24 hours.
Griner’s release is bittersweet as, despite tireless negotiations, the Russian government is still refusing to swap Paul Whelan. U.S. secretary of state Antony J. Blinken said they had been pushing for Whelan to be part of the swap from the beginning. Blinken added, “Despite our ceaseless efforts, the Russian government has not yet been willing to bring a long overdue end to his wrongful detention.”
On December 28, 2018, Russia convicted Whelan wrongfully, accusing him of being a spy. He was then sentenced to 16 years in prison, and the U.S. government has been trying to get him released ever since. So, this is a devastating blow to him and his family. However, Biden vowed the U.S. will never give up on him or negotiate to have him released.
Meanwhile, Paul Whelan's family was extremely relieved that Brittany was released Thursday. His brother released a statement on how their family is dealing with the news.