Photos: Vadim Krasikov Prisoner Swap For Brittney Griner
After one of them, basketball player Brittney Griner was given a nine-year prison sentence on Thursday for a narcotics conviction, the United States pushed Moscow to accept an agreement that hoped to gain the release of two Americans held in Russia.
Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan would be exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is now serving a 25-year prison term in the United States. According to the sources, Russia attempted to include the German prisoner and convicted killer Vadim Krasikov in the planned exchange.
Whelan, who has passports from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland, was found guilty of spying and given a 16-year prison sentence in Russia in 2020. On Thursday, Griner was convicted of importing marijuana-infused vape cartridges into Russia and was sentenced.