Despite Reed’s release, other Americans remain jailed in Russia, including WNBA star Brittney Griner and Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan.

Russia and the United States have carried out an unexpected prisoner exchange in a time of high tensions, trading a Marine veteran jailed by Moscow for a convicted Russian drug trafficker serving a long prison sentence in America.

The deal announced by both countries involving Trevor Reed, an American imprisoned for nearly three years, would have been a notable diplomatic maneuver even in times of peace. It was all the more surprising because it was done as Russia’s war with Ukraine has driven relations with the U.S. to their lowest point in decades.

The U.S., for its part, returned Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot who’d been serving a 20-year federal prison sentence in Connecticut for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. after he was arrested in Liberia in 2010 and extradited to the U.S. The Justice Department has described him as “an experienced international drug trafficker” who conspired to distribute thousands of kilograms of cocaine around the world.

Despite Reed’s release, other Americans remain jailed in Russia, including WNBA star Brittney Griner and Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan.

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