December 16, 2022 Russia-Ukraine information

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Brittney Griner hugs her spouse Cherelle after arriving at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas, on December 9. (US Military picture by Miguel Negron)

Brittney Griner departed a medical army facility in Texas on Friday, based on her Instagram feed, after arriving there one week in the past following 10 months in Russian custody.

For the two-time Olympic gold medalist, who was launched final week in a prisoner swap after almost 300 days in Russian custody, the day marks one other step in her reintegration into American life.

In an Instagram publish, she thanked her household, the WNBA, advocates and US President Joe Biden, amongst others.

“President Biden, you introduced me residence and I do know you’re dedicated to bringing Paul Whelan and all Individuals residence too. I’ll use my platform to do no matter I can that can assist you. I additionally encourage everybody that performed an element in bringing me residence to proceed their efforts to carry all Individuals residence. Each household deserves to be entire,” she wrote, referencing American citizen Whelan, who has been detained in Russia since 2018.

“I additionally need to make one factor very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I stay up for having the ability to say ‘thanks’ to these of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in particular person quickly,” she added.

Some background: Griner’s detention, after Russian officers discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her baggage, turned a world trigger throughout a fragile time in relations between Washington and Moscow. US officers deemed it a wrongful detention.

She had traveled to Russia to play basketball within the WNBA offseason and was arrested on drug smuggling costs at an airport within the Moscow area.

Regardless of her testimony that she had inadvertently packed the hashish oil in her baggage, Griner was sentenced to 9 years in jail in early August and was moved to a penal colony within the Mordovia republic in mid-November after dropping her attraction.

The Phoenix Mercury middle turned a pawn in Russia’s conflict in Ukraine and returned to the US on Dec. 9 after a prisoner swap for infamous convicted Russian arms seller Viktor Bout.

Griner had been staying at Brooke Military Medical Heart in San Antonio for routine analysis. She has been staying along with her spouse, Cherelle Griner, in a residential facility on the bottom.

Her arrest and conviction introduced consideration to the plight of different Individuals in Russian custody, together with Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed. Whelan’s launch couldn’t be secured within the newest prisoner swap, whereas Reed returned to the US in April after an almost three-year ordeal.

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