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Vadim Krasikov Prisoner Swap For Brittney Griner, Why Does This Make Sense?

American professional basketball player Brittney Griner was sentenced to jail in Russia after being caught with drugs. However, the Russian government will accept the swap deal if the US government offers Vadim Krasikov and Viktor Bout in the agreement.

Griner was detained on drug-related accusations in Russia on February 17, 2022. The Federal Security Service discovered she was carrying vaporizer cartridges containing hash oil, and she was held at Sheremetyevo International Airport.

After one of them, basketball player Brittney Griner was given a nine-year prison sentence on Thursday for a narcotics conviction, the United States pushed Moscow to accept an agreement that hoped to gain the release of two Americans held in Russia.

Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan would be exchanged for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is now serving a 25-year prison term in the United States. According to the sources, Russia attempted to include the German prisoner and convicted killer Vadim Krasikov in the planned exchange.

Whelan, who has passports from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland, was found guilty of spying and given a 16-year prison sentence in Russia in 2020. On Thursday, Griner was convicted of importing marijuana-infused vape cartridges into Russia and was sentenced.

A Russian citizen was found guilty and given a life sentence by a court in Berlin in 2021 for the daylight murder of a Georgian citizen, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, in 2019. Vadim Krasikov was a former colonel in the FSB, the Russian intelligence service, and was accused of carrying out a political murder on the orders of Russia.

The government concurred, labeling the incident state-mandated murder and a strict German law and sovereignty violation. In addition, it ordered the deportation of two Russian diplomats who local media had claimed to be intelligence officers.

The victim was shot three times in the head on August 23, 2019, in the Kleiner Tiergarten park in the heart of Berlin by Krasikov.

Vadim is unlikely to be released from prison as the German government holds him for the murder of a Georgian national in Berlin. Germany’s subdued response to the verdict continued a long-standing pattern of appeasing the Kremlin.

This strategy cut across governments and was implemented to safeguard Germany’s business ties with Russia, especially given its dependence on Russian oil and natural gas.

But some now question whether the Kremlin’s perception of impunity before the invasion of Ukraine, when the United States was issuing warnings that Russia was planning an attack, was intensified by the unwillingness to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin, even in the face of state-sanctioned murder.


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