Brittney Griner Remains In Russia; Trevor Reed Is Released
US Marine veteran Trevor Reed is on his way home after being released from Russia, where officials said he was wrongfully detained since 2019.
“Today, our prayers have been answered and Trevor is safely on his way back to the United States,” his family said in a statement.
Reed’s release came as part of a prisoner swap with Russia, with the US sending back Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot sentenced in 2011 to a 20-year prison term for importing more than $100 million of cocaine.
The surprise prisoner exchange was the result of long and difficult negotiations between the US and Russia, according to both countries. The fraught diplomacy was made all the more extraordinary because of the utter collapse of relations between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
President Joe Biden, who met with the Reed family last month, said in a statement on Wednesday that the negotiations to release him “required difficult decisions that I do not take lightly.”
“I heard in the voices of Trevor’s parents how much they’ve worried about his health and missed his presence,” Biden said. “And I was delighted to be able to share with them the good news about Trevor’s freedom.”
Reed, 30, was imprisoned for allegedly assaulting a police officer while he was drunk, but his family and US diplomats said he was innocent, describing the evidence against him at trial as “preposterous” and “absurd.” Instead, they said he was being held as a bargaining chip.