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Paul Whelan Update as Brittney Griner Released From Prison

WNBA player Brittney Griner was freed from imprisonment in Russia on Thursday in a prisoner swap for a notorious arms dealer, but another American remains detained in the country after about four years.

Paul Whelan is a former U.S. Marine who was arrested in Moscow in December 2018 after traveling to Russia for a wedding. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison by a Russian court on espionage charges in 2020, though he and his family have maintained that the charges against him are baseless, the Associated Press reported.

Griner was arrested in Russia in February this year for allegedly possessing cannabis oil when she arrived in Moscow. A Russian court sentenced her to nine years in prison in August, and President Joe Biden has faced pressure for months to secure her release.

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