Russian State Media Releases Video Footage of the Brittney Griner Prisoner Swap.
Brittney Griner, a star player for the Women’s National Basketball Association in the United States, and Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer known as “the Merchant of Death,” were both part of a prisoner exchange that took place at an airport in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday. Russia’s state media released video footage of the event.
The video, which was verified by The New York Times, shows Ms. Griner walking with three men in suits toward another man and Mr. Bout, who is clutching a brown envelope and holding a coat over one arm. Ms. Griner is wearing a red jacket and pants in the video. Mr. Bout is seen holding a coat over one arm. The characteristic dreadlocks that Ms. Griner is known for are nowhere to be seen in her newly trimmed hair.
Mr. Bout is greeted by two gentlemen, the first of whom shakes his hand and the second of whom also shakes his hand. Ms. Griner then moves toward a different group of guys, one of whom is dressed in flowing robes and looks to be an official from the United Arab Emirates. These men shake her hand as they approach her.
At the same time that the exchange of prisoners is taking place at Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi, a white airplane can be seen in the background, with its steps open on the tarmac.
The photographs were taken from a series of video clips depicting the various phases of Ms. Griner’s release and were published by Russian news agencies. It was not apparent when each of the scenarios actually occurred.
In a video that was published by the Russian official broadcaster RT, an unnamed lady who seems to be a jail warden can be heard speaking to Ms. Griner in Russian and asking, “Will you come visit here?” Yes? That’s great; you should stop by!”
Brittney Griner’s Escape from Russian Custody is Captured on Video
On a video that was released by official Russian media, the American basketball player can be seen walking out of jail and then getting on a plane.
And in a video that was uploaded to the messaging program Telegram by the Russian official news agency RIA Novosti, Ms. Griner is shown boarding an aircraft while carrying a duffel bag as it is snowing outside.
After she has boarded the aircraft and settled into her seat, an unknown individual approaches her and asks, “What’s your mood?”
“Happy” is the response she gives.
It has been asked of Ms. Griner whether she is aware of her destination. She responds by saying that she is unsure, and then she is informed that she will be traveling to the United States.
The individual assures you that “all will be OK.”