WNBA star Griner freed in swap for Russian arms dealer Bout

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Griner freed swap Russian
FILE - Brittney Griner (15) runs up court during women's basketball gold medal game against Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Aug. 8, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. Russia has freed WNBA star Brittney Griner in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange, with the U.S. releasing notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia has freed WNBA star Brittney Griner is a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange, with the U.S. releasing notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

The swap comes at a time of heightened tensions over Ukraine and it achieved a top goal for President Joe Biden. But it also carried a heavy price, with American Paul Whelan still detained in Russia on espionage charges that his family and the U.S. government says baseless.

Biden said Griner is safe

Biden says Griner is “safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,.” He spoke from the White House, where he was accompanied by Griner’s wife, Cherelle, and administration officials.

Griner freed  swap Russian

Griner’s monthslong imprisonment on drug charges brought unprecedented attention to the population of wrongful detainees.