Griner relocated over 200 miles outside Moscow-EnglishHindiBlogs-News

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WNBA star Brittany Griner has been transferred to a penal colony in Mordovia, about 210 miles east of Moscow, to serve a nine-year sentence, her lawyers and agent said Thursday.

Griner’s attorneys, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, announced last week that the WNBA star was being transferred to a Russian penal colony, but they did not know her destination at the time.

In their latest statement, her lawyers said, “Britney is doing as expected and trying to stay strong as she adjusts to a new environment.”

Griner’s agent, Lindsay Colas, said the Phoenix Mercury Center is “trying to stay strong” amid the circumstances.

“Despite the fact that she is alone and now nearing her ninth month of separation from loved ones, she is trying to stay strong,” Colas said in a statement. “At this time, we will not be sharing any further details, but want to express our deep thanks to the Biden administration, the Richardson Center, and all those who have reached out to offer him words of encouragement.”

Griner’s family had dreaded his impending move to a penal colony since his appeal of his sentence was denied on October 25. Russian penal colonies are known to have far harsher conditions than the Moscow prison where Griner has been since being detained in February.

Griner pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking charges in July following his arrest at a Moscow-area airport on February 17 after he was found to be carrying hashish oil while trying to enter Russia to join his club team in Ekaterinburg. containing vape cartridges was found. At his trial, Griner admitted to having the canisters in his luggage, but testified that he had packed them inadvertently in his haste to make his flight and that he had no criminal intent. Her defense team submitted a written statement which stated that she was prescribed cannabis to treat chronic pain.

She was given a nine-year sentence in August before losing her appeal last month.

US authorities announced in May that Griner had been wrongfully detained and appealed his trial and political theatre. The Biden administration has been trying for months to negotiate the release of Griner and another American, Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whalen, jailed in Russia. Whelan was also sent to a penal colony in Mordovia in 2020 after being convicted on charges related to espionage and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

President Joe Biden told reporters last week that he expected Russian President Vladimir Putin to be more willing to negotiate Griner’s release now that the US midterm elections are over.

“My hope is that now that the election is over, Mr. Putin will be able to have a discussion with us and will be willing to talk more seriously about a prisoner exchange,” Biden said.

This report used information from TJ Quinn of ESPN and The Associated Press.