Breaking news this morning as WNBA star Brittney Griner is now free and coming home to America. She is being released from a Russian penal colony where she otherwise would’ve served nearly a decade of hard labor.
The U.S. and Russia came to a deal after months of negotiation. The U.S. will release Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for Griner’s release.
Griner has been stuck in Russia since February when she was first detained. After 10 months, Griner will be home just in time for the holidays with her family.
In the initial negotiations, the U.S. was fighting to include American Paul Whelan in the prisoner swap. But Whelan was not part of this deal and remains jailed in Russia.
KARAH RUCKER: BREAKING NEWS THIS MORNING, WNBA STAR BRITTNEY GRINER IS NOW FREE AND COMING HOME TO AMERICA. LEAVING A RUSSIAN PENAL COLONY WHERE SHE OTHERWISE WOULD’VE SERVED NINE YEARS OF HARD LABOR.
THE U.S. AND RUSSIA COMING TO A DEAL AFTER MONTHS OF NEGOTIATION. THE U.S. WILL RELEASE RUSSIAN ARMS DEALER VICTOR BOUT IN EXCHANGE FOR GRINER’S RELEASE.
BRITNEY GRINER HAS BEEN STUCK IN RUSSIA SINCE FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR WHEN SHE WAS FIRST DETAINED. AFTER 10 MONTHS, GRINER WILL BE HOME JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH HER FAMILY.
IN THE INITIAL NEGOTIATIONS, THE U.S. WAS FIGHTING TO INCLUDE AMERICAN PAUL WHELAN IN THE PRISONER SWAP.
BUT WHELAN WAS NOT PART OF THIS DEAL AND REMAINS JAILED IN RUSSIA.