Brittney Griner being freed from Russia in prisoner exchange, U.S. says

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Russia freed WNBA star Brittney Griner on Thursday in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange, with the U.S. releasing notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, American officials said.

The swap, at a time of heightened tensions over Ukraine, achieved a top goal for President Joe Biden, but carried a heavy price — and left behind an American jailed for nearly four years in Russia, Paul Whelan, who also holds Canadian citizenship.

Bout has been imprisoned in the U.S. since a federal court conviction in 2011 on an assortment of charges, including conspiracy to kill American citizens.

Biden is expected to speak about the development shortly, multiple U.S. outlets reported.

More to come.

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