Newly released photos offer a glimpse into the grim conditions Brittney Griner faced for 10 months inside a Russian women’s prison.
The images, distributed by Russian News Agency TASS, expose the tiny bed the 6-foot-9 WNBA basketball star was forced to sleep in, along with the bland-looking meals she consumed at Women’s Penal Colony No 2 in Mordovia, Russia.
Griner was finally released from the prison Thursday as part of an exchange for notorious international arms dealer Viktor Bout, President Biden announced.
She was locked up in February after Moscow airport authorities found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which is banned in Russia, in her luggage.
In most of the images, Griner is seen wearing green prisoner clothes, but the most striking characteristic of her appearance is her shortly cropped hair.
It is not clear whether the WNBA star chopped her signature dreads on her own accord or whether it was mandated by the prison guards, but other prisoners can be seen in the background with long hair tied back in buns.
The lack of locks hardly makes the lanky player unrecognizable, however. Griner can be seen towering over cafeteria workers as she collects her meal.
Griner can be seen in another photograph meticulously making her twin bed in a communal bedroom. She needs to bend almost completely in half in order to pull the bedsheets and blankets just so.
An ID with her photograph can be seen hanging from the edge of the teensy bed.
Griner will soon return to her 3,000-square-foot property in Arizona, where she will have plenty of time and space to stretch out.
Another image captures Griner being put to work in the prison, though it is not clear what task she was assigned during her incarceration.
The photograph seems to be the only in which Griner is not wearing green garments. She appears to be wearing a blue work suit and a white bandana.
Griner began the long journey home after signing various forms of paperwork and hopping on a bus to an airfield, where she was exchanged for Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death.”
Biden said Griner is on her way back to the US, where she will be reunited with her wife and biggest advocate Charelle Griner.
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