Brittney Griner Released from Russian Prison in Swap for Terrorist Arms Dealer

Matthew JohnsonDecember 8, 2022
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Photo By Lorie Shaull - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Photo By Lorie Shaull – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


The White House announced early Thursday morning Brittney Griner was released from a Russian penal colony in a prisoner swap with the Russian government.

The U.S. gets the WNBA basketball player back in exchange for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer and international terrorist known by the nickname “Merchant of Death.”

The 2005 film “Lord of War” starring Nicolas Cage portrayed Bout, who was seized in Thailand in 2008 and extradited to the U.S. in 2012. Bout was sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to kill Americans.

Griner had been in Russian captivity since last February and was convicted and sentenced to nine years on drug possession and smuggling charges in August.