In the video, an interview using a translator asks Griner what her mood is.
“Happy,” Griner replies.
“Do you know where are you heading to?” the interviewer asks.
“No,” Griner says. “I don’t know.”
“You’re flying back home,” the interviewer says.
“To the U.S?” Griner asks.
“To the U.S.,” the person replies. “Everything will be fine.”
A video released by Russian state media shows the prisoner exchange taking place on the tarmac at Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi.
The Phoenix Mercury star was detained in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Griner admitted she had the canisters, but said she had packed them by accident in her haste to make her flight and had no criminal intent. Her defense team presented evidence she was prescribed cannabis to treat chronic pain.
She was held in Russia and was sentenced in August to nine years in prison for drug possession. She was transferred to a Russian penal colony in November to begin serving her sentence.