February 4, 2023

Lakeview Gazette

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Russia trades American basketball star Brittney Griner for arms dealer Viktor Bode

Women’s basketball star Brittney Griner

US officials said Russia Released the star Pretty girl Brittney Griner In a prisoner exchange, when America Published for his part Russian arms dealer Viktor Bode.

President of the United States, Joe BidenThe publication ruled and wrote on their Twitter account that Griner is “safe, he’s on a plane, he’s going home.”

“On December 8, 2022 at the airport Abu Dhabi“The procedure for the exchange of Russian citizen Viktor Bode for US citizen Brittney Griner, who is serving time in US and Russian prisons respectively, has been successfully completed,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a telegram.

Bode, a known Russian arms dealer, had been held in the US for more than 10 years.

US President Joe Biden announced Thursday morning that Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for drug trafficking, was already “safe” and “on his way to the United States.”

“I spoke with Brittney Griner a few minutes ago. You are safe now. He is on a plane. He’s going home,” the US president tweeted.

A release confirmed by Joe Biden on the release of the women's basketball star
A release confirmed by Joe Biden on the release of the women’s basketball star

After Russian authorities discovered the olive oil, the player was sentenced to nine years in prison Cannabis During a February raid at a Moscow airport.

According to Biden administration sources, the basketball player is already “in the custody of US authorities.” CNN..

Cheryl Griner discusses the release of her wife, WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner, with US President Joe Biden.
Cheryl Griner discusses the release of her wife, WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner, with US President Joe Biden.

According to the operating department Sergey Shockú was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 and extradited to the US in November 2010, but Moscow “negotiated for a while”.

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“Washington categorically rejected talks of including Russian in the exchange program,” Foreign Affairs said.

“Nevertheless, the Russian Federation continued to work diligently to rescue our compatriot,” he added.

Also, “as a result of these efforts, we were able to agree with the American side to arrange the exchange of Butt for Griner.”

Last November, Russian diplomacy was recognized Prisoner exchange Relations between Russia and the US will be a positive sign for the relations between the two countries.

“If this happens, it will certainly be a positive sign that all is not lost in US-Russian relations. If an agreement is reached, this signal will be relevant now,” the Russian deputy foreign minister said. Sergey Ryabkov.

The situation of Griner and other American prisoners in Russia was discussed WashingtonAt their meeting last month Ankara Director of CIA (US intelligence agency), William Burns and the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, Sergei Naryshkin.

The last exchange of prisoners between Russia and the United States took place last April, when a student and ex-Marine from Texas were exchanged. Trevor Reidpor el piloto ruso Konstantin Yaroshenko.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and champion Women’s National Basketball AssociationHe played for the club in Russia Yekaterinburgo before resuming his season Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA.

Brittney Griner of the United States poses with her gold medal in women's basketball at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games.
Brittney Griner of the United States poses with her gold medal in women’s basketball at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games.

His arrest in February came at a time of heightened tensions between the two Moscow and Washington, days before Russia invaded Ukraine. At the time, Griner was returning to Russia, where he played during the American League offseason.

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The nine-year sentence came close to the maximum sentence of ten, and Kreiner’s lawyers argued the sentence was excessive. They noted that defendants in similar cases received an average of five years in prison and about a third of them received probation.

Before the sentencing, the US State Department announced that the athlete “Wrongfully Detained”An allegation Russia has flatly denied.

For your part, andRussian arms dealer Viktor Bode was nicknamed the “Merchant of Death.”He was famous as one of the biggest illegal arms dealers in the world at the time.

Victor Bott
Victor Bott

Bode was detained by U.S. agents in Thailand in 2008 and held a service Sentenced to 25 years imprisonment In America.

After the sentencing, Attorney General Eric Holder called him “One of the world’s most prolific arms dealers”US Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan (New York) said that it happened. “The number one enemy of international arms trafficking for years, fueling some of the most violent conflicts around the world”. Amnesty International reported that arms sales to countries such as Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been sanctioned for human rights abuses. NBC News.

A former soldier and polyglot, he took advantage of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Eastern Bloc to dedicate himself. Selling Soviet weapons at low pricesFrom African civil wars to Colombian guerrillas, equipping fighters from half the world through the Middle East.

His career, unusually, Inspired the movie “Lord of War”. (“The Lord of War” or “Dangerous Man” in Spanish), starring Nicolas Cage as a cynical arms dealer.

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Moscow has condemned his years in prison, raising suspicions that Bout acted with the tacit approval of Russian officials.

(With information from AP, EFE, Europa Press and AFP)

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