Brittney Griner 200 Days In Russian Prison, Ukraine 193 Days Since Russian Invasion: Connection? Doubtless

Zinger Key Points
  • No one doubts that Griner’s arrest was a consequence of the Russia-US standoff over the Ukraine invasion. Now what?
  • Politicians and warmongers do what they can’t seem to stop doing as lives are lost and prisons fill up.

As of Labor Day, WNBA star Brittney Griner has been in a Russian prison for 200 days since she was first detained at a Moscow airport on Feb. 17 for having cannabis oil in her suitcase. Griner, a medical marijuana patient in the U.S. had forgotten to remove the minuscule amount of cannabis oil before she traveled to Russia where she's played basketball with the country’s top women’s team for the past seven years.

Nevertheless, the 31-year-old Griner – who is much beloved in Russia for her athletic skills - was tried and sentenced to nine years in a penal colony on Aug. 4 on drug smuggling and possession charges.

Negotiations for a prisoner swap are apparently underway between Moscow and Washington. Although, after a kerfuffle involving what Russian diplomats called “megaphone diplomacy” on the part of the U.S., news, rumors and speculation about any exchange are now being kept under wraps. 

Having said that, Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan are said to be the main subject of the talks, which involve swapping the two for the notorious Russian gun-runner Viktor Bout.

A New Twist

It now seems that Russian criminal mastermind Alexander Vinnik, accused of laundering more than $4 billion through the digital currency bitcoin (BTC/USD) has been tossed into the mix.

Throughout Griner’s incarceration, a series of U.S. athletes, including Dennis Rodman and boxing Hall of Famer Roy Jones, Jr. have offered to travel to Russia where they said they’d use their friendly relationship with Vladimir Putin to appeal for Griner’s release. The US state department, however, is not keen on outside participation in the highly delicate negotiations. 

Griner's 200 Days, Ukraine's 193 Days: Grim Milestones All Around

At this point, no one doubts that Griner’s arrest was/is a consequence of the Russia-US standoff over the Ukraine invasion, now in its 193rd day.

While politicians and warmongers do what they can’t seem to stop doing, Americans linger in prison cells in Russia and lives are lost in Ukraine.

There must be a better way.

Photo: NDanko by Shutterstock and YouTube

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