Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout speaks out after Brittney Griner swap
A notorious arms dealer with alleged ties to Russian security services, Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and extradited to the United States in late 2010. In the interview, Bout described his time in solitary confinement as especially harrowing —"Yes, there was panic. Yes, it was very difficult," he told Butina — but also complained about American prison food, lamenting his inability to access garlic or fresh herbs. In that interview, Bout was eager to play the role of national martyr. “I am proud that I am Russian, and that Putin is our president," Bout said of Russian president Vladimir Putin.wftv.com
Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout speaks out after Brittney Griner swap
Sitting in a Moscow studio as snow fell outside, looking relaxed in a blue blazer and maroon T-shirt, Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout described his 14 years in a U.S. prison in his first interview since he was exchanged for Brittney Griner, an American basketball player who had been held in a Russian prison colony following a drug conviction earlier this year.news.yahoo.com
'I want to talk': Griner opened up during her long trip home
WASHINGTON — (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner didn't want any alone time as soon as she boarded a U.S. government plane that would bring her home. I want to talk,” Griner said, according to Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, who helped secure the basketball star’s release and bring her back to the U.S. last week. “It was really amazing.”Ultimately, Griner spent about 12 hours of an 18-hour flight talking with others on the plane, Carstens said. The U.S. State Department declared Griner to be “wrongfully detained” — a charge that Russia has sharply rejected. But the U.S. was unable to secure the freedom of Paul Whelan, who has been held in Russia for nearly four years.wftv.com
Paul Whelan’s brother slams Trump after prisoner swap criticism
The brother of former Marine Paul Whelan, who has been imprisoned in Russia for nearly four years, slammed former President Trump on Friday after Trump criticized the Biden administration for the deal it struck to free WNBA star Brittney Griner but not Whelan. David Whelan said in a post on Twitter that Trump seems to…news.yahoo.com
LeBron James on return of Brittney Griner: 'It's a great day'
Britney Griner is a free woman after 294 days behind bars in Russia, to the relief of just about everyone in the basketball world. To have her a part of the basketball brother and sisterhood, it's a big day for us and what we do. Most notable among those Americans detained is Paul Whelan, who has been imprisoned in Russia for nearly four years. Even when offered a straight Whelan-for-Bout exchange, Russia reportedly balked at negotiating. My comments on “The Shop” regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country.wftv.com
Who is Viktor Bout? Infamous arms dealer swapped for Brittney Griner
Following months of intense negotiations, the United States managed to secure Briner's freedom in a one-to-one swap for Viktor Bout, a notorious Russian arms dealer. "The Russian security services watched Griner closely and knew they could compromise her," a former U.S. intelligence officer told Yahoo News earlier this year. Even by the Kremlin’s suspect characterization of Whelan and Griner, the allegations against Bout are far worse. Even Bout's aliases — "Viktor Budd," "Viktor Butt" and, simply, "Boris" — might have stretched credulity for a Bond villain. "They will try to lock me up for life," the then-45-year-old Bout told the New Yorker before his sentencing.wftv.com
Biden says Brittney Griner is 'safe' after release from Russia in prisoner swap
President Biden on Thursday said Brittney Griner is "safe" and on her way home after being freed from Russian custody in a prisoner exchange for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout . “These past few months have been hell for Brittney and Cherelle and her entire family,” Biden said. “We did not forget about Brittney, and we have not forgotten about Paul Whelan, who has been unjustly detained in Russia for years,” Biden said. “Today my family is whole,” Cherelle Griner said. She added: “Brittney and I will remain committed to the work of getting every American home, including Paul, whose family is in our hearts today.”wftv.com
WNBA star Brittney Griner released in prisoner swap with Russia
Officials have freed WNBA star Brittney Griner from a Russian penal colony in a prisoner swap that saw the release of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending newsBREAKING: Russia has freed American WNBA star Brittney Griner in a prisoner swap, with the U.S. releasing Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to U.S. officials. https://t.co/VhWRFsCoKd — The Associated Press (@AP) December 8, 2022Check back for more on this developing story. ©2022 Cox Media Groupwftv.com
Veteran emissary Richardson hopeful for Griner, Whelan swap
Bill Richardson, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a frequent emissary in hostage negotiations, says he's hopeful about the chances of a two-for-two prisoner swap that could result in the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan.
Trump calls detained WNBA star Brittney Griner a 'potentially spoiled person' while criticizing proposed prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer
"She knew you don't go in there loaded up with drugs, and she admitted it. I assume she admitted it without too much force," Trump said of Griner.news.yahoo.com
Who is Viktor Bout? Infamous arms dealer may be in a Russian prisoner swap for Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan
(Photo by U.S. Department of Justice via Getty Images)According to press reports, the U.S. government is prepared to swap notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, two Americans currently jailed in Russia. "The Russian security services watched Griner closely and knew they could compromise her," a former U.S. intelligence officer told Yahoo News. Even Bout's aliases — "Viktor Budd," "Viktor Butt" and, simply, "Boris" — might have stretched the credulity for a Bond villain. The text of the resolution cites not only Russian military atrocities against civilians in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria and Ukraine, but also names the Wagner Group, a notorious mercenary outfit. "They will try to lock me up for life," the then-45-year-old Bout told the New Yorker before his sentencing.wftv.com
Blinken says he spoke to Russia FM about detained Americans
US Japan Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during the U.S.-Japan Economic Policy Consultative Committee (EPCC) at the State Department in Washington, Friday, July 29, 2022. (Tom Brenner/Pool Photo via AP) (Tom Brenner)WASHINGTON — (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by phone on Friday and urged Moscow to accept a U.S. offer to release two Americans detained in Russia. Blinken did not provide details of Lavrov’s response to what he had previously called a “substantial proposal" for Russia to release the two U.S. citizens: Paul Whelan and Brittany Griner. Blinken had publicly requested the call and revealed the existence of the offer to Russia — which people familiar with it say involves a swap for Whelan and Griner with convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.wftv.com
Experts say U.S.’s ‘substantial proposal’ may not be enough to bring Brittney Griner home
Brittney Griner WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner stands in a cage at a court room prior to a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 26, 2022. American basketball star Brittney Griner has returned to a Russian courtroom for her drawn-out trial on drug charges that could bring her 10 years in prison if convicted. In early May, the State Department classified Griner as wrongfully detained without explanation and began working to negotiate her release. Blinken’s public acknowledgement of an offer for Griner and Whelan reflects the mounting pressure on the administration to get both home. Russian state media has repeatedly floated potential prisoner trades for Bouts while he is serving a 25-year sentence in Illinois.wftv.com
WNBA's Griner tells drug trial: 'My career is my whole life'
WNBA star Brittney Griner testified at her drug possession trial in Russia that an interpreter translated only a fraction of what was said during questioning when she was detained at Moscow’s airport in February and officials told her to sign documents without giving an explanation.
WNBA's Griner gets support at trial from character witnesses
The drug possession trial of WNBA star Brittney Griner has resumed, with the head of the Russian club she plays for in the offseason and a teammate from that squad testifying in support of her character and what she has meant for women’s basketball in the country.