Russia wants to add murderer to prisoner swap for Griner, Whelan: Report

Brittney Griner.
(Image credit: ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Russian government has requested that convicted murderer Vadim Krasikov be added to the U.S.-proposed prisoner swap exchanging Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for detained Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, CNN reported Friday.

The Russians apparently shared the request with the U.S. earlier this month, albeit through an informal backchannel used by spy agency and KGB-successor FSB, CNN notes. Because of the manner of the request, the U.S. did not "view it as a legitimate counter" to the original offer for Griner and Whelan. There is also the problem that Krasikov is currently in German custody, having murdered a Chechen fighter in Berlin's Kleiner Tiergarten in 2019. He was sentenced to life in prison.

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