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Watch the moment Brittney Griner was exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout on a UAE airport tarmac

Brittney Griner.

Brittney Griner.Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool through REUTERS

  • See the second Brittney Griner was swapped for Russian arms supplier Viktor Bout.

  • The 2 prisoners had been exchanged on a UAE airport tarmac, ending Griner’s practically 10-month detainment in Russia.

  • In a second video, Griner stated she was “pleased” to be getting on a airplane and going house.

Video published by Russian news agency Tass exhibits the second Brittney Griner was swapped for Russian arms supplier Viktor Bout on the tarmac at an airport within the UAE.

The video exhibits a bunch of three males strolling alongside Griner, who’s sporting quick hair and a crimson shirt. ESPN’s TJ Quinn stories that the WNBA celebrity minimize her signature dreadlocks by her personal violition as a result of “she did not wish to cope with it throughout a Russian winter.”

Within the clip, the trio, plus Griner, approaches Bout together with one other suited man. One of many males with Griner then shakes palms with Bout and pulls him in for a hug. Griner then walks off with the American man who had been escorting Bout.

Another video shared by Russian news outlet RT chronicles Griner’s day, beginning along with her signing launch papers and following her as she is pushed to a airplane and will get on.

“What’s your temper?” A voice is heard asking Griner.

“Pleased,” she responded, chuckling and smiling.


The prisoner swap was introduced Thursday morning, with President Joe Biden tweeting that Griner “is secure. She is on a airplane. She is on her approach house,” at 8:14 a.m. native time.

The Biden administration initially proposed the prisoner exchange in June to convey the basketball celebrity again to the US. For many of Griner’s detainment, the US tried to barter a two-for-one swap involving the discharge of each the basketball star and fellow wrongfully detained American Paul Whelan.

However securing the 52-year-old’s freedom has proved far tougher than releasing different wrongfully detained People. A former US Marine-turned-security government, Whelan was arrested at a Moscow resort in December 2018 over suspicions that he was an American spy.

American detainee Paul Whelan holds a sign ahead of a hearing in Moscow.

American detainee Paul Whelan holds an indication forward of a listening to in Moscow.REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

He was subsequently convicted of espionage and sentenced to 16 years in Russian jail, with the potential for serving time at a labor camp. And due to that conviction, “for completely illegitimate causes, Russia is treating Paul’s case otherwise than Brittney’s,” as Biden stated Thursday.

Griner had been sentenced to 9 years in a Russian penal colony after being arrested in a Moscow airport in February for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her baggage. She was charged with the large-scale transportation of medicine and moved to a Russian jail shortly after, earlier than sitting for a trial in Russia.

Bout, then again, was 10 years into his 25-year sentence within the US for conspiring to offer “materials assist” to a terrorist group, promising to produce them with anti-aircraft missiles, and fascinating in a plot to kill People and US officers.

Viktor Bout

Suspected Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout, middle, is led by armed Thai police commandoes as he arrives on the legal courtroom in Bangkok, Thailand.AP Photograph/Apichart Weerawong, File

He was first arrested in Thailand in 2008 — however not for the high-stakes trafficking operations that served as inspiration for a number of films, documentaries, and books — and his nickname: “The Service provider of Demise.” As a substitute, Bout was caught in a Drug Enforcement Company sting operation. American officers lured the elusive arms distributor to interact with purported representatives of a Colombian guerilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

He supplied to promote weapons to the rebels, even with the understanding that the supplies may have been used to kill People. Besides, the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin — a then-federal decide for the US District Court docket for the Southern District of New York who dominated on the case — thought her necessary minimal 25-year sentence “was too excessive within the first place.”

“It was necessary. I had no discretion,” Scheindlin advised Insider. “I needed to give the sentence I gave.”

DEA agents escort Viktor Bout (center) off the plane after he was extradited to the United States.

DEA brokers escort Bout (middle) off the airplane after he was extradited to america.U.S. Division of Justice through Getty Photos

Nonetheless, the reported prisoner swap deal had drawn some criticism, together with from former chief of operations on the US Drug Enforcement Administration Michael Braun, who wrote in a Foreign Policy column that releasing Bout would pose a “grave risk” to nationwide safety and be a “slap within the face” of regulation enforcement who risked their lives to arrest him.

Former President Donald Trump additionally slammed the deal over the summer time, calling Griner a “doubtlessly spoiled particular person” who was “loaded up with medication.”

Regardless of the criticism, which a hostage negotiation skilled advised Insider can be explained by scientific theories, the US and Russia had been capable of orchestrate a deal to swap Griner for Bout on Thursday.

Learn the unique article on Insider

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