Russian Arms Dealer Swapped For Brittney Griner Speaks To ESPN TipTechBlog


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Viktor Bout, the arms dealer who was swapped for Brittney Griner last December, has granted an exclusive interview about his experience. “Well, think of this, that same outrage was in Russia when I was sentenced to 25 years. Many people would say, ‘For what? Just for talking? Are you serious? There is not even a proper translation to Russian of the crime of conspiracy. We don’t have such even the legal term, So, this is the same kind of outrage in Russia about my case and about many other cases,” Bout said. Bout, who inspired the Nicolas Cage film Lord of War, was freed after being convicted of four felonies in 2011. He had been arrested after attempting to sell weapons to DEA agents posing as Colombian rebels in Thailand.

“People like me or her [Griner] sometimes pay the price because politicians play chess, on this big chessboard which they call geopolitics,” Bout continued. Furthermore, he discussed having followed Griner’s detention from prison. “Look, I mean, in United States, I guess, only lazy would not, you know, cover her trial,” he said. “Every, you know, talking radio host, every news station, every TV channel on the news broadcast, so this was a big, big deal, I guess, you know, especially in jail.” Additionally, he spoke on meeting Griner on the tarmac. “So, I said, you know, ‘I wish you good luck,'” he said, “and, you know, and we both went to our, you know, planes.”

Read More: Right-wing YouTuber harasses Brittney Griner at Dallas airport

Brittney Griner Shines In WNBA Return

However, to look at Griner’s play, you’d never think that she missed an entire season and spent nearly a year in a Russian prison. Despite an incredibly down year from the Phoenix Mercury, Griner has had a fantastic season. She has averaged 17.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. That’s good enough for 13th in points and 15th in rebounds. However, this has been in spite of the Mercury’s down season. With two games left to play in the regular season, the Mercury are 9-29 and on a nine-game losing streak.

At her own press conference spoke about her experience in April. “I’ll put my mind to it,” Griner said. “You know, I can achieve any goal. Not trying to sound big- headed, but I just really bet on me. I have all the resources here to help me get to that point where I can play. There was no question [I would be back] in the WNBA, back in Phoenix.”

Read More: Bill Richardson, diplomat who helped free Brittney Griner, dies


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