Barack Obama celebrates Brittney Griner release from Russian prison

She'd been detained for over 8 months after authorities accused her of having hashish oil in her luggage

Image: Courtesy

After close to 10 harsh months locked behind bars in Russia, WNBA star Brittney Griner has finally been released.

Brittney was released after the US government and the Russian government agreed on a 1-for-1 trade.

The U.S. is to send over Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout also known as "Merchant of Death" in the gang streets in exchange for their sports star.

Seems like an off-track deal but the US was caving under pressure from celebrities and sportsmen and women calling for the government to work on bringing her home as she was reported to be facing very harsh conditions.

Following her release, former president Barack Obama was among the very first people to issue a statement celebrating the news.

"Grateful for the long overdue release of Brittney Griner from Russian custody.

Kudos to @POTUS and his administration for the difficult diplomatic work involved to make it happen.

We’re looking forward to having Brittney back home," The former president's tweet read.

Image: Courtesy

Obama was replying to a tweet from President Joe Bidden that read, "moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe, on a plane and on her way home." 

The commissioners of the NBA and WNBA, celebrating the news both said they, too, are "thrilled" with Thursday's evening prisoner swap.

"The WNBA is grateful beyond measure to the Biden Administration, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, and all those who played a role in bringing BG home today," Cathy Engelbert said.

The basketballer had been detained in Russia since February after authorities accused her of having hashish oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

After her arrested and prosecution, Brittney was sentenced to serve 9 years in a Russian prison.

Her team filed for an appeal which was denied but the WNBA star can finally smile following her long overdue release.

Brittney was released after the U.S. agreed to trade arms dealer Viktor Bout, in a prisoner exchange deal.

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