Brittney Griner begins sentence in remote Russian penal colony

Basketball star Brittney Griner has been sent to a remote Russian penal colony to start serving her sentence, her lawyers have said.

“Brittney began serving her sentence at IK-2 in Mordovia,” lawyers Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in a statement.

“We visited her early this week. Brittney is doing as well as could be expected and trying to stay strong as she adapts to a new environment.”

The US athlete was handed nine years in prison in August for possessing vape cartridges with a small quantity of cannabis oil, after she was arrested at a Moscow airport in February.

The 32-year-old’s case came amid fierce tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine.

Griner’s agent, Lindsay Colas, said: “Despite the fact she is alone and now nearing her ninth month in detention separated from her loved ones, she is trying to stay strong.”

Colas also expressed her thanks to the administration of Joe Biden who last week pledged to secure…

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This article was written by Staff and agencies in Moscow and originally published on www.theguardian.com