HomeSportsAsphalt exchange between Brittney Griner and Viktor Bout seen on video

Asphalt exchange between Brittney Griner and Viktor Bout seen on video


A video posted Thursday showed the on-court exchange between WNBA superstar and Olympic champion Brittney Griner and convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Russian state media showed Griner and Bout boarding their respective planes to return to their home countries. The footage of the asphalt exchange was allegedly filmed in the United Arab Emirates, according to state television.

The video was posted hours after the official announcement of the trade was made.

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Brittney Griner, in red, on the track as Viktor Bout, with the envelope, walks by.
(AP)

Before arriving at the exchange, Griner is asked what his mood was and if he knows where he was flying to. She says that she was “happy” and that she didn’t know where she was going at first, but they told the US.

The clips showed her leaving snowy Russia.

Video later showed the plane carrying Griner landing in Texas.

Griner was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on February 17 after Russian authorities said she had vape cartridges laced with cannabis oil inside her luggage. On August 4, Griner received a nine-year sentence after pleading guilty, arguing that she had been prescribed cannabis for her pain and inadvertently packed it. Her sentence was confirmed in October and she was later transferred to a penal colony.

Bout is known as the “Merchant of Death” and the possible trade for him was raised in May. He was in the midst of a 25-year sentence in federal prison after he was convicted of conspiring to kill Americans in connection with supporting a Colombian terrorist organization.

He was nicknamed the “merchant of death” due to his notoriety for leading a fleet of old Soviet-era cargo planes to hot spots in Africa. His dealings inspired the Nicolas Cage film “Lord of War.”

RELEASE OF BRITTNEY GRINER FROM RUSSIA LEAVES WIFE CHERELLE ‘OVERWHELMED WITH EMOTIONS’

Viktor Bout walks past temporary cells before a hearing at the Bangkok Criminal Court on August 20, 2010.

Viktor Bout walks past temporary cells before a hearing at the Bangkok Criminal Court on August 20, 2010.
(Christophe Archambault/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden addressed reporters after the announcement of his release. He didn’t mention Bout.

“After months of being wrongfully 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,” Biden said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement.

“I am grateful to the State Department team and our colleagues across government who worked tirelessly to secure his release,” the statement read. “I especially congratulate the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Roger Carstens, who is accompanying Brittney back to the United States, as well as her entire team. We also express our deep appreciation to our many partners who helped achieve this result, including our Emirati friends who assisted in the transfer today.

Brittney Griner is escorted from the courtroom after a hearing in Khimki, outside Moscow, Russia, on August 4, 2022.

Brittney Griner is escorted from the courtroom after a hearing in Khimki, outside Moscow, Russia, on August 4, 2022.
(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

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“As we celebrate Brittney’s release, Paul Whelan and his family continue to suffer needlessly. Despite our relentless efforts, the Russian government has yet to be willing to end his long-delayed wrongful detention. I wish with all my heart been able to bring Paul home. Today on the same plane with Brittney. However, we will not relent in our efforts to bring Paul and all other American citizens held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad to their loved ones, where they belong.”



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