Top Russian Official Gives Brittney Griner Bad News, Says Releasing WNBA Star Not A Priority And Biden Only Cares About Midterms
An aide to Russian leader Vladimir Putin gave WNBA star Brittney Griner some terrible news saying freeing her from prison is not a priority for the Kremlin and that Russia thinks Biden only cares about the midterms.
Yury Ushakov who was Russia’s ambassador to the United States between 1998 and 2008 and is now an aide to Putin said:
“In this tense situation, I think that he is thinking first and foremost about the upcoming midterm elections so he keeps emphasizing the need to bring back home the basketball player who was detained for drug smuggling. However, it’s not the main issue that we are concerned about.”
Griner’s lawyer, Alexandr D. Boykov, who last spoke with Griner on October 11 said Griner is starting to lose hope for a quick solution. He said:
“She is not yet absolutely convinced that America will be able to take her home.
“She is very worried about what the price of that will be, and she is afraid that she will have to serve the whole sentence here in Russia.
“Perhaps the verdict will somehow be changed and, perhaps, the sentence will be reduced, because the decision taken by the first court is very different from judicial practice.
“Considering all the circumstances, taking into account my client’s personality traits and her admission of guilt, such a verdict should be absolutely impossible.”
According to The New York Times:
Ms. Griner was also reading a biography of the rock band the Rolling Stones, Ms. Kalugina said, adding that she sometimes also played a game with her cellmates that is similar to the board game Battleship.
Ms. Kalugina said that in Ms. Griner’s lockup, a pretrial detention center inside Correctional Colony No. 1, women were allowed to shower twice a week.
She also said that, when they met, Ms. Griner had told her she was suffering from pain including headaches.
Mr. Boykov said that the prison was dated and uncomfortable. “It’s an old building, and made of stone,” he noted. “When it is hot outside, it’s too hot, and when it’s cold outside, it is too cold.”
According to Axios:
Russia confirmed in August that it was negotiating with the U.S. about a potential prisoner exchange.
“Not with Putin,” President Biden said Wednesday when asked if there had been any progress on a potential meeting with the Russian president to discuss Griner’s case, per a White House pool report.
Griner’s spouse, Cherelle Griner, said in an interview earlier this month that Griner had suffered to “the max.”