WNBA star Brittney Griner was relocated to a penal colony in Mordovia, about 210 miles east of Moscow, to serve her nine-year sentence, her attorneys and agent stated Thursday.
Griner’s attorneys, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, had introduced final week that the WNBA star was being transferred to a Russian penal colony however that they didn’t know her vacation spot on the time.
“Brittney is doing as well as could be expected and trying to stay strong as she adapts to a new environment,” her attorneys stated of their newest assertion, noting that that they had visited together with her earlier this week.
Griner’s agent, Lindsay Colas, stated the Phoenix Mercury heart was “trying to stay strong” amid the circumstances.
“Despite the fact she is alone and now nearing her ninth month in detention separated from her loved ones, she is trying to stay strong,” Colas stated in a press release. “At this time, we will not be sharing any further details, but want to express our deepest thanks to the Biden Administration, the Richardson Center, and to everyone who has reached out to offer words of encouragement to her.”
Griner’s household had dreaded her impending transfer to a penal colony ever for the reason that attraction of her conviction was denied Oct. 25. Russian penal colonies are identified for having far harsher circumstances than the Moscow jail the place Griner has been since she was detained in February.
Griner pleaded responsible to drug smuggling costs in July following her arrest at a Moscow-area airport Feb. 17, when she was discovered with vape cartridges that contained cannabis oil whereas making an attempt to enter Russia to affix her membership group in Ekaterinburg. At her trial, Griner admitted to having the canisters in her baggage however testified she packed them inadvertently in her haste to make her flight and had no felony intent. Her protection group offered written statements saying she had been prescribed hashish to deal with continual ache.
She was given her nine-year sentence in August earlier than shedding her attraction final month.
U.S. officers declared in May that Griner was being wrongfully detained and have known as her trial and attraction political theater. The Biden administration has been making an attempt for months to barter the discharge of Griner and one other American jailed in Russia, Michigan company safety govt Paul Whelan. Whelan was additionally despatched to a penal colony in Mordovia after being convicted of espionage-related costs in 2020 and sentenced to 16 years in jail.
President Joe Biden advised reporters final week that he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin will probably be extra prepared to barter the discharge of Griner now that the U.S. midterm elections are over.
“My hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr. Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about a prisoner exchange,” Biden stated.
Information from ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and The Associated Press was used on this report.