WNBA star Brittney Griner is free Thursday after the Biden administration negotiated her release from a Russian penal colony in exchange for an arms dealer, according to a senior administration official.

President Joe Biden signed off on the trade, which took place in the United Arab Emirates, even though it meant leaving behind Paul Whelan, an American corporate security executive who remains jailed in Russia.

The move marks one of the most high-profile prisoner swaps between Moscow and Washington since the Cold War, with the Kremlin seeing the return of Viktor Bout, who Russian President Vladimir Putin has been wanting to get back — and who had served 11 years of a 25-year sentence in the United States.

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