Footage of Brittney Griner Prisoner Swap Released by Russia

Russia’s Federal Security Service released footage of the prisoner swap of WNBA basketball player Brittney Griner and arms dealer Viktor Bout between Russia and the United States on Thursday, December 8.

The footage shows Griner boarding a plane in Russia and landing in the United Arab Emirates, where the prisoner swap took place. It also shows clips of Bout on a plane back to Russia.

In February, the Russian Customs Service detained Griner at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. Russian authorities said Griner was in possession of vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis.

Griner was swapped for Bout, an international arms dealer who had been serving a 25-year sentence at a penitentiary in Illinois. The swap was completed on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said.

US President Joe Biden announced that Griner was returning to the US on December 8 and thanked the UAE for helping transfer Griner back to the US. Credit: FSB via Storyful

Video Transcript

[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]

BRITTNEY GRINER: I'm good.

- What's your mood?

BRITTNEY GRINER: Happy.

- Happy. Well, are you ready for flight?

BRITTNEY GRINER: Yes.

- Yes?

BRITTNEY GRINER: I'm ready.

- Good.

[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]

Do you know where you're heading to?

BRITTNEY GRINER: No.

- No?

BRITTNEY GRINER: No.

- No?

[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]

- You fly back home?

BRITTNEY GRINER: To the US.

- To the US.

BRITTNEY GRINER: OK.

[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]

- Everything will be fine.

Bye-bye.

[SPEAKING RUSSIAN]

so.