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BREAKING | Brittney Griner released; Canadian-born Paul Whelan left out of Russia-U.S. prisoner swap

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 and Russian officials said. The swap, at a time of heightened tensions over Ukraine, achieved a top goal for U.S. President Joe Biden, but carried a heavy price -- and left behind an American jailed for nearly four years in Russia.

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from Russian detention in a prisoner swap for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. (CNN-Getty)