Trevor Reed Released in a Prisoner Swap

Trevor Reed, a U.S. Marine veteran who has been held in Russian custody since 2019, was freed Wednesday in a prisoner swap between the Kremlin and the Biden administration. “Today, we welcome home Trevor Reed and celebrate his return to the family that missed him dearly,” Joe Biden mentioned within the assertion asserting that Reed is “free from Russian detention.” The president continued: “I heard in the voices of Trevor’s parents how much they’ve worried about his health and missed his presence. And I was delighted to be able to share with them the good news about Trevor’s freedom.” Reed’s household advised Vanity Fair in March that their son had been coughing blood after shut contact with a person with tuberculosis, and had presumably damaged a rib. Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, and the more and more strained diplomatic ties between Russia and the United States put added stress on the Biden administration to get Reed, and the 2 different Americans detained within the nation out.

Reed, who was serving a nine-year jail sentence, was convicted with endangering Russian police in 2020 after being accused of drunkenly attacking two Moscow cops the earlier yr. Reed has maintained his innocence. In return, U.S. authorities agreed to launch Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot who was arrested by in 2010 and remained in jail on drug-smuggling fees. (The Biden administration described Yaroshenko on Wednesday as “a Russian smuggler convicted of conspiring to import cocaine.”) Neither Russia nor the U.S. introduced the placement of the trade, however a Russian Federal Security Service aircraft was noticed flying to Ankara, Turkey, shortly earlier than the meet was set to happen.

Biden mentioned the prisoner swap “required difficult decisions that I do not take lightly,” whereas acknowledging Roger Carstens, the White House’s hostage affairs envoy, and U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation John Sullivan’s “tireless and dedicated” diplomacy. The president additionally pledged to proceed working to safe the liberty of U.S. Marine veteran Paul Whelan and others. (Whelan is serving a 16-year jail sentence after being arrested for espionage fees in 2018, whereas WNBA participant Brittney Griner, who was detained in February for allegedly making an attempt to fly with hashish oil, remains to be awaiting trial.)

“[Reed’s] safe return is a testament to the priority my Administration places on bringing home Americans held hostage and wrongfully detained abroad,” Biden added.

Reed’s mother and father, Joey and Paula Reed, spent years pleading for his or her son’s launch, extra just lately warning of his deteriorating well being. In a telephone name with Reed in early March, Joey mentioned his son was discouraged in regards to the prospects of ever being launched, telling his mother and father “‘quit wasting your efforts to get me out of here…the United States isn’t gonna do anything, especially now with this war in Ukraine,’” Joey recounted to Vanity Fair’s Abigail Tracy. Reed just lately took half in a starvation strike to protest the circumstances of his detention. Biden met with Reed’s household within the White House in late March. One senior administration official knowledgeable CNN that the trade was “accelerated” partially on account of considerations about Reed’s bodily well-being.

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