Exchange of prisoners between Washington and Moscow. The basketball player against the merchant of death

After mediation led by UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman succeeded in swapping prisoners between Washington and Moscow, US President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that basketball player Brittney Grainer , held in Russia since February, has become “safe” and “en route” to the United States after a prisoner swap with Moscow.

“she is safe”

“I spoke to Brittney Grainer a few moments ago… She is safe and on a plane bound for the United States,” Biden said on Twitter.

While Biden acknowledged Washington’s failure to free prisoner Paul Whalen imprisoned in Russia, unlike basketball player Brittney Grainer, he pledged never to abandon efforts to free him.

“We will not give up”

He said: “Unfortunately, Moscow is approaching the Paul (Whelan) case differently from the Britney case, and while we could not secure Paul’s release, we will never give up.”

Whelan, a former US soldier, was arrested in December 2018 in Russia and then sentenced in 2020 to 16 years in prison for “espionage”.

For its part, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday the exchange of Russian prisoner Viktor Bout for American basketball player Brittney Grainer.

The story of his arrest

The 31-year-old American has been detained in Russia since February after Moscow airport officials found cannabis oil in her luggage as she was returning to the United States after playing games in Russia.

While Victor Bout is one of the most famous arms dealers in the world, convicted in the United States of smuggling Russian weapons.

Read more:  4 Facts of the Bullying Case in Bekasi, Victim Forced to Kiss Feet to Trauma because Face Appears on Social Media Page all

“Merchant of Death”

Bout, a former Soviet Air Force officer, is so infamous that it inspired Hollywood to make a film about him, and that reputation has also given him the fearsome nickname “Death Dealer.”

Bot was extradited from Thailand to the United States in 2010 after an operation by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) two years earlier.

Viktor Bout is believed to have graduated from the Moscow Institute of Military Studies in the early 1990s and was a major in the KGB.

As Human Rights Watch put it in a 2005 report, Bout was “the most prominent foreign businessman to violate the arms embargo by transporting weapons from countries such as Bulgaria, Slovakia and Ukraine.”

Bout, a Russian citizen born in Soviet-ruled Tajikistan, began his aviation career in the early 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union.

“Assistant” of a foreign head of state

The United Nations considered him an aide to former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who was convicted in 2012 of aiding and abetting war crimes during Sierra Leone’s civil war.

“Bout is a businessman, dealer and transporter of weapons and minerals who supported former President Taylor’s regime in its attempt to destabilize Sierra Leone and illegally obtain diamonds,” the UN documents said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick