WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia freed WNBA star Brittney Griner on Thursday in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange, with the U.S. releasing notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, American officials said. The swap, at a time of heightened tensions over Ukraine, achieved a top goal for President Joe Biden, but carried a heavy price — and left behind an American jailed for nearly four years in Russia.
I don’t mind prisoner swaps. Nations have been doing them forever. Normally, it is a trade where both nations are getting something of relatively equal value.
This is not one of those trades. Russia is getting back an experienced and brutal arms dealer in the middle of a war. America is getting a dope-smoking basketball player. Putin is working on shoring up his ability to wage war. Biden is trying to fix a domestic political inconvenience.
Once again. Putin wins.