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MOSCOW — US basketball star Brittney Griner has arrived in a jail colony within the Russian republic of Mordovia — 300 miles southeast of Moscow — to start serving out a nine-year sentence on drug expenses, her attorneys say.
The announcement by Griner’s authorized workforce Thursday was the primary affirmation of the American’s whereabouts since Russian authorities transferred her from a Moscow detention heart almost two weeks in the past — a time period typical for Russia’s opaque jail switch system.
Griner’s attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov confirmed that that they had visited Griner on the IK-2 ladies’s jail colony within the city of Yavas earlier this week.
“Brittney is doing in addition to could possibly be anticipated and making an attempt to keep sturdy as she adapts to a brand new atmosphere,” stated the attorneys in an announcement launched to the media.
“Considering this can be a very difficult interval for her, there shall be no additional feedback from us.”
Last August, Griner was sentenced by a Russian court docket to 9 years in a jail colony for carrying lower than a gram of hash oil into Russia when she arrived to play within the Russian ladies’s skilled basketball league earlier this 12 months.
In court docket, Griner admitted to mistakenly packing two vape cartridges in her rush to pack her baggage — however offered paperwork that confirmed the hash oil was legally prescribed by her US physician for ache administration.
The US authorities has labeled Griner “wrongfully detained” and continues to search a prisoner swap with Russia involving Griner and one other jailed American, former Marine Paul Whelan.
Whelan is serving out a 16-year sentence for espionage at a separate jail colony in Mordovia.
Former inmates inform NPR that Russia’s jail colonies are recognized for primitive situations and punishing work regimes rooted within the Soviet Union’s gulag jail system.