Published 7:57 AM EST, Fri December 9, 2022
Brittney Griner is free.
The basketball star, who had been detained in Russia since February, was released in a prisoner swap that involved Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
US President Joe Biden announced Griner’s release on Thursday, December 8. “She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” Biden said at the White House alongside Griner’s wife, Cherelle. “After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under untolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along.”
Griner’s arrest sparked diplomatic drama between the United States and the Kremlin that played out alongside Russia’s war in Ukraine. At the same time that the United States enacted crippling sanctions in response to the Ukraine war, US diplomats kept open lines of communication with Moscow to try to secure Griner’s release.
“This is a day we’ve worked toward for a long time,” Biden said.
Here are some of the stories that made headlines over the past week, as well as some photos that caught our eye.