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    America Strikes Deal With Russia that Brings Brittney Griner Home 

    While the saga has seemed never-ending, the WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from Russia’s grasp. Thursday morning, Griner was released in a prisoner swap that involves Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to CNN. However, the swap didn’t contain, Paul Whelan, who the government also declared wrongfully detained.

    “She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” Biden said at the White House Thursday morning alongside Griner’s wife, Cherelle. “After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along.”

    President Biden did apologize to Whelan’s family, however, he expressed that who they returned was completely out of his control at the time.  For illegitimate reasons, Russia is only willing to give up Griner.

    “This was not a choice of which American to bring home,” Biden said. “Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul’s case differently than Brittney’s. And while we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul’s release, we are not giving up. We will never give up.”

    It’s troublesome to consider this all a diplomatic ploy between America and Russia at Griner’s expense. This was never truly about him breaking the law or anything of the sort. It was an opportunity to leverage some political power over America. Ultimately, it appears it worked because in exchange for Griner we gave up one of the most dangerous arms dealers in the world.

    Brittney Griner Swapped for ‘Merchant of Deah’

    Bout is returned home to Russia, the Russian foreign military announced Thursday morning. According to CNN, the prisoner exchange was successful at Abu Dhabi Airport. In President Biden’s statement to the United Arab Emirates assured the drop was successful he expressed this:

     “[The] success of the mediation efforts is a reflection of the mutual and solid friendship that connects both countries with the United States of America and the Russian Federation.”

    However, Bout the “Merchant of Death,” is a former Soviet military officer. He’s serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States on terroristic charges. Initially, he had the intent to kill Americans by acquiring and exporting anti-aircraft missiles.

    “As I have urged for some time, given the 15 long years that Viktor Bout has been in custody since the United States government targeted him in 2006, his exchange for Brittney Griner, who has only been in custody for a few months, is fair,” Zissou said in a statement.


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