‘Putin beat Biden’ on Brittney Griner swap for ‘Service provider of Loss of life’, says former Kremlin aide

A former adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Thursday that Moscow received the higher of the prisoner swap that despatched WNBA star Brittney Griner again to the USA for convicted arms seller Viktor Bout.

“Putin beat Biden,” wrote Sergei Markov in an extended submit on his Telegram channel.

Markov known as Griner an “glorious athlete” and a “easy lady,” however that Bout was extra vital to Russia. He added that prisoner exchanges between Russia and the USA ought to profit Moscow.

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“However the precept of trade with Westerners needs to be like this,” he wrote. “At all times in our favor”.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a courtroom after a hearing in Khimki, just outside Moscow, Russia August 4, 2022. She was set free on Thursday in exchange for Viktor Bout, a convicted international arms dealer.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a courtroom after a listening to in Khimki, simply outdoors Moscow, Russia August 4, 2022. She was let loose on Thursday in trade for Viktor Bout, a convicted worldwide arms seller.
(AP Photograph/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Recordsdata)

Griner, 32, had been in Russian custody for practically 10 months earlier than being launched. She was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on February 17 after Russian authorities stated she had hashish oil vaporizer cartridges inside her baggage.

On Aug. 4, Griner was sentenced to 9 years after pleading responsible, alleging she had been prescribed hashish for her ache and had inadvertently packaged it. Her sentence was upheld in October and she or he was subsequently transferred to a penal colony.

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Bout is called the “Service provider of Loss of life” because of his notoriety for working a fleet of growing old Soviet-era cargo planes to battle hotspots in Africa. Experiences of him impressed Nicolas Cage’s movie “Lord of Warfare”.

Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout is escorted by policemen as he arrives for a hearing at the Bangkok Criminal Court in 2010.

Russian arms seller Viktor Bout is escorted by policemen as he arrives for a listening to on the Bangkok Felony Court docket in 2010.
(CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP through Getty Pictures)

He had been in US custody since 2008 and was convicted in 2011 of conspiring to promote weapons for use to kill People. He was serving a 25-year federal jail sentence on the time of his launch.

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“Brittney will quickly be again within the arms of her family members and will have been there all alongside,” President Biden stated Thursday. “It is a day now we have labored exhausting for. We have now by no means stopped pushing for her launch.”

Paul Whelan, a former US Marine suspected of espionage and arrested in Russia in December 2018, sits in a defendant's cage as he waits to hear his verdict in Moscow on June 15, 2020.

Paul Whelan, a former US Marine suspected of espionage and arrested in Russia in December 2018, sits in a defendant’s cage as he waits to listen to his verdict in Moscow on June 15, 2020.
(Photograph by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP through Getty Pictures)

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The trade has drawn a lot criticism as former Marine Paul Whelan continues to be being held in Russia regardless of the State Division alleging he’s being held illegally on espionage expenses.

Earlier than being convicted and jailed in Russia, Griner known as for protests in opposition to the nationwide anthem at WNBA video games.

Ryan Gaydos of Fox Information contributed to this report.