Video shows Griner walking past Bout in prisoner swap

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New footage released by Russian state media showed WNBA star Brittney Griner walking past Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout during Thursday’s prisoner swap in Abu Dhabi, The Washington Post reported.

Griner was accompanied by three men in suits as she approached Bout and an American man on the tarmac in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Post. One of the men accompanying Griner shook hands with and hugged Bout as the two groups met, the edited video showed.

The WNBA star was released on Thursday, after nearly 10 months in Russian detention. She was first arrested in a Moscow airport in February for carrying vape cartridges that contained cannabis oil in her luggage.

Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in August and moved to a Russian penal colony in early November.

Celebration over Griner’s release on Thursday was dampened by the Biden administration’s failure to secure the release of fellow American detainee Paul Whelan. Whelan, a former U.S. marine, was arrested on espionage charges in 2018 and later sentenced to 16 years in prison.

“This was not a situation where we had a choice of which American to bring home,” a senior administration official said on Thursday. “It was a choice between bringing home one particular American, Brittney Griner, or bringing home none.”

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