Brittney Griner moved to penal colony in Russia’s Mordovia region | Russia-Ukraine war News

WNBA participant, whose whereabouts had been publicly unknown, is in a penal colony 500km southeast of Moscow, attorneys affirm.

United States basketball participant Brittney Griner has been moved to a penal colony in Russia’s Mordovia area to serve a nine-year jail sentence for drug possession, her attorneys confirmed, as President Joe Biden’s administration continues to push for her launch.

Griner’s attorneys mentioned in a press release on Thursday that she was taken to Feminine Penal Colony IK-2 within the city of Yavas, roughly 500km (300 miles) southeast of Moscow.

The Girls’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (WNBA) star was relocated from a detention centre close to the Russian capital on November 4. Whereas her attorneys mentioned at the moment that she had been moved to a penal colony, her actual whereabouts had been unknown to the general public.

“We are able to affirm that Brittney started serving her sentence at IK-2 in Mordovia. We visited her early this week,” attorneys Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boikov mentioned in Thursday’s assertion.

“Brittney is doing in addition to may very well be anticipated and making an attempt to remain robust as she adapts to a brand new surroundings.”

The US State Division mentioned on Wednesday the embassy in Moscow has not been in a position to talk with Griner because the switch.

“We, by means of our attorneys, are conscious of her location and are in frequent contact with Ms Griner’s authorized workforce, however formally, the Russian Federation has nonetheless failed to offer any official notification for such a transfer of a US citizen, which we strongly protest,” Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel instructed reporters.

“Our embassy and our mission in Moscow has continued to press for extra details about her switch and her present location, and people requests proceed to be ongoing.”

Russian penal colonies are identified for his or her harsh circumstances, the place prisoners are positioned in barracks, not particular person cells, and compelled to carry out day by day work.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, is one in every of two US residents Washington says are unjustifiably imprisoned in Russia. Paul Whelan, a US Marine veteran, was sentenced to 16 years in jail in 2020 on espionage expenses.

Griner’s arrest earlier this 12 months got here days earlier than Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and her case has moved by means of the Russian courtroom system amid frayed relations between Moscow and Washington over the conflict.

Russian authorities mentioned they discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her baggage as she was coming into the nation to play for a Russian workforce through the WNBA’s low season.

She was sentenced to 9 years in jail in August and, final month, a Russian courtroom upheld that sentence, which the basketball star’s defence attorneys described as extreme.

In earlier proceedings, Griner mentioned she didn’t intend to carry the vape cartridges into Russia and that it was an “sincere mistake” they ended up in her baggage.

Since Griner’s arrest, family members, teammates and supporters have been calling on the US authorities to place its full weight behind the case to safe her launch.

In September, Biden met the Griner and Whelan households to replace them on his administration’s efforts.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned in July that Washington made a “substantial proposal” to Moscow to free the pair. A number of US media shops reported round that point that the Biden administration had provided a prisoner alternate involving a Russian arms vendor jailed within the US.

US officers have mentioned they proceed to have interaction with their Russian counterparts to safe the 2 Individuals’ launch.

Regardless of the deteriorating ties between Washington and Moscow, Russia in April freed Trevor Reed, a former US Marine. In alternate, the US launched Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko who was serving a 20-year jail sentence within the US over drug expenses.

Putin observes drills by Russia’s strategic nuclear forces | Nuclear Weapons News

The drills come amid a collection of escalatory feedback from Moscow suggesting the warfare in Ukraine might flip nuclear.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has monitored drills of the nation’s strategic nuclear forces involving a number of follow launches of ballistic and cruise missiles, in a present of pressure amid the heightened tensions with the West over the battle in Ukraine.

Wednesday’s drills come amid a collection of escalatory feedback from Moscow and Putin – who noticed the drills from a management room – suggesting the eight-month battle in Ukraine might flip nuclear.

“Underneath the management of … Vladimir Putin, a coaching session was held with floor, sea and air strategic deterrence forces, throughout which sensible launches of ballistic and cruise missiles came about,” the Kremlin stated in a press release.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Putin that the train was meant to simulate a “huge nuclear strike” by Russia in retaliation for a nuclear assault on the nation.

The manoeuvres adopted Putin’s warning about his readiness to make use of “all means accessible” to fend off assaults on Russia’s territory in a transparent reference to the nation’s nuclear arsenals.

Russian state-run media ran footage of a submarine crew making ready the launch of a Sineva ballistic missile from the Barents Sea within the Arctic.

In the course of the Russian drills Wednesday, a Yars land-based intercontinental ballistic missile was test-fired from the northern Plesetsk launch web site.

The drills additionally included launching check missiles from the Kamchatka Peninsula within the Russian Far East.

In this handout photo taken from video released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, the Tula nuclear submarine of the Russian navy is on a mission to conduct a practice launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile as part of drills of the country's nuclear forces. Russian President Vladimir Putin has monitored drills of the country's strategic nuclear forces involving multiple practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles. The Kremlin said in a statement that all the test-fired missiles reached their designated targets. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
The Russian navy’s Tula nuclear submarine en path to conduct a follow launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile [Russian Defence Ministry Press Service via AP Photo]

As a part of the train, Tu-95 strategic bombers additionally launched cruise missiles at follow targets.

The Kremlin stated in a press release that every one duties set for the train have been fulfilled and all of the missiles that have been test-fired reached their designated targets.

The Russian drills got here as NATO was holding its personal annual nuclear workouts in northwestern Europe that can run till October 30.

The NATO drills, dubbed “Steadfast Midday”, contain about 60 plane, together with United States long-range B-52 bombers and fighter jets able to carrying nuclear weapons, however don’t contain any dwell bombs.

Russian manoeuvres involving land, sea and air parts of the nuclear triad have taken place on an annual foundation to coach the nation’s nuclear forces and reveal their readiness. A earlier such train was held simply days earlier than Putin despatched troops into Ukraine.

The administration of US President Joe Biden stated on Tuesday that Russia gave discover it meant to stage routine drills of its nuclear capabilities. The Pentagon and US Division of State stated Russia had complied with the phrases of the final US-Russia arms management settlement in notifying Washington of the upcoming assessments.

Moscow alleges ‘irresponsible behaviour’

Footage of the drills throughout state media got here after Shoigu pressed forward with phone calls to his counterparts globally, claiming that Ukraine was growing a “soiled bomb”.

A grimy bomb is a traditional bomb laced with radioactive, organic or chemical supplies which might be disseminated in an explosion.

Shoigu, who has made these claims in current days to representatives of NATO nations, additionally known as his Chinese language and Indian counterparts Wednesday to debate the allegation, which Ukraine and its Western allies have strongly rejected.

Putin himself repeated the soiled bomb declare on Wednesday. “We all know in regards to the plans to make use of the so-called soiled bomb for provocations,” he stated.

Ukraine has dismissed the allegations as “absurd” and “harmful,” suggesting the claims may very well be cowl for Russia’s personal plans on the battlefield, as have its western allies, together with the UK, France and the US.