Russian state media releases video footage of the Brittney Griner prisoner swap.
Russia’s state media on Thursday released video footage of the prisoner exchange of Brittney Griner, the American W.N.B.A. star, and Viktor Bout, the convicted Russian arms dealer known as “the Merchant of Death,” at an airport in the United Arab Emirates.
The video, which was verified by The New York Times, shows Ms. Griner, in a red jacket and pants, walking with three men in suits toward another man and Mr. Bout, who is clutching a brown envelope and holding a coat over one arm. Ms. Griner’s hair is closely cropped, with no sign of her signature dreadlocks.
One man shakes Mr. Bout’s hand and embraces him, and then a second man also shakes his hand. Ms. Griner then veers off toward another group of men, including one clad in flowing robes who appears to be a U.A.E. official, as they shake her hand.
As the prisoner exchange takes place, a white jet stands in the background, steps open on the tarmac at Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi.
The images, published by Russian news outlets, are from a series of video clips of the various stages of Ms. Griner’s release. It was unclear when all the scenes took place.
In footage posted by the Russian state broadcaster RT, an unidentified woman who appears to be a prison warden says in Russian to Ms. Griner: “Will you come visit here? Yes? Great, come visit!”
Russian state media broadcast footage showing the basketball player boarding a plane in the snow.CreditCredit…Russian State Media
And in video posted to the Telegram message application by the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, Ms. Griner is shown boarding a plane in the snow, carrying a duffel bag.
Once aboard and in her seat, she is asked by an unidentified person, “What’s your mood?”
She replies, “Happy.”
Ms. Griner is asked if she knows where she is going. She says she doesn’t know, and is then told that she is going to the United States.
The person says, “Everything will be fine.”
Anton Troianovski contributed reporting.