Ten months after leaving for the US for basketball play in Russia, WNBA star Brittney Griner is now on the ground in Texas, her native state. Texas.
Griner was incarcerated after he was caught carrying cannabis oils in the Moscow Airport in the month of February and was released to Russian arm trader Viktor Bout on Thursday.
The two were seen crossing the tarmac of Abu Dhabi airport.
Joe Biden stated that Griner appeared “in great spirits” and required “time and room to heal”.
The woman was taken by air to San Antonio, near her home town of Houston and will receive medical treatment following her stay in an Russian prison colony.
The wife of the president, Cherelle Griner, who was present at the Biden announcement in the White House on Thursday, was due to be there with her.
“Brittney was forced to go through an unimaginable circumstance and we’re delighted that she’s back home with her family and acquaintances,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated in an announcement about her return.
Griner was detained in February – a few days prior to Russia entered Ukraine.
She is among the most well-known female sportswomen in America. In the US basketball season, the twice Olympic Champion was the top center in the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA.
The reason she traveled into Moscow is to participate soccer in Russia during off-seasons and to play in US. While undergoing her test in Russia she claimed that the cannabis oil that was found in her purse was an “honest error”.
The Biden administration suggested the exchange of prisoners in July, knowing that Moscow has long fought for an end to the imprisonment of Bout who was convicted of being an arms trafficker dubbed”the Merchant of Death. Bout has been within the US prison for 12 years. American prison for the past 12 years.
Video footage found on Russian state media shows them crossing the road together with the teams they were with. In the video, believed to be supplied by Russian security forces, Bout was warmly greeted by two Russian officials while Griner, who is 6’9″ (206cm) and is 6ft 9in (206cm) looks on. The exchange was later edited out after which the video showed both people moving on their own.
“The Russian citizen has been returned to his country of birth,” the Moscow foreign ministry announced in a statement.
Live TV in Russia revealed Bout making his way to Moscow. Photos showed him hugging and kissing his wife and mother at the airport’s the runway.
“I did it. This is the most important thing,” he told reporters at the airport.
“In the in the middle of the night, they woke me up and said , ‘Get your things in order”” he said.
Griner who turned 32 this month, is set to be greeted in Houston with an entertainment show as the city’s mayor Sylvester Turner said.
It’s unclear what time she’ll stay there in San Antonio before travelling to Houston approximately 200 miles (320km) to the east.
An unidentified US official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that Griner was scheduled to be treated within the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
It is speculated that she’ll join an Department of Defense programme known as Pisa (Post Isolation Support Activities) It is created to assist former prisoners adjust to life after detention.
On Thursday, a spokesperson for the department of state Ned Price said the government would talk to Griner on what she’s in need of.
“She could seek assistance from the US will provide and we will be able to make that available to her” he said to MSNBC.
Many Republicans expressed their displeasure with their White House for agreeing to the agreement.
“What an ‘insane’ and embarrassing embarrassment to America,” USA !!!” Former president Donald Trump wrote on his Truth Social website.
“This will be a present for Vladimir Putin, and it could endanger American life.”
and Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger – a high public critic of President Trump’s tweets in Twitter saying that the Biden administration showed “weakness” in announcing the release Bout.
The swap included two private planes that brought Bout as well as Griner the Abu Dhabi airport from Moscow and Washington after which they flew back home.
Negotiations began to secure Griner’s release over the summer The US declared that it was clear that it desired former Marine Paul Whelan to be included in the exchange.
However, Whelan was convicted in 2018 for alleged spying, wasn’t part of this Russian swap, sabotaging the hopes of his family.
In a telephone call from the prison where the prisoner is, Whelan told CNN he was “greatly sad” there was nothing more accomplished to get him out and he stated that the incident was not his fault. crime.
“I do not understand why I’m sitting there,” he said. “I was misled into thinking that things were heading towards the correct direction and that governments were discussing and that something was going to occur fairly quickly.”
Republican chairman Kevin McCarthy, who is predicted to be an incoming Speaker in the House of Representatives wrote on Twitter that not securing the release of Mr Whelan in the agreement is “unconscionable”.
Viktor Bout sold arms to the warlords and rogue government and became one of the most sought-after men. His actions led to Lord of War, a movie Lord of War, which was released in the year 2005. Hollywood production Lord of War.
His dark side ended with a complex US investigation in 2008 when he was detained in an hotel located in Thai capital Bangkok in the midst of the fury from authorities from the Russian government.
His extradition came two years after and has been spending the last 12 years behind bars in an American prison for conspiring with others to aid terrorists and murder Americans.
The footage published from Russian State media shows him boarding the plane with an arrangement of flowers prior to hugging his mother and wife.
After her husband’s return home, the wife of Bout Alla said to that the agency for state media Tass the husband had been fed well and “treated extremely well” in the prisoner exchange.
“He was not tied or handcuffed, he was treated extremely well,” she said.