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Russia, US exchange prisoners amid tension

Russia announced it was paying former US Marine Trevor Reed in exchange for Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko traveling in the opposite direction.

On April 27, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it had exchanged prisoners with the US side. According to Sputnik, former US Marine Trevor Reed, who is serving a nine-year prison term in Russia for assaulting a police officer, was returned to the US. In return, Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a 20-year prison term in the US for drug trafficking, was released to Russia.

Trevor Reed in a court in Moscow in March 2020


Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced that the prisoner exchange took place after a lengthy negotiation process.

Russian state television broadcast images of Mr. Reed, dressed in black, carrying a large bag, being loaded onto a plane by servicemen at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. TASS quoted Mr. Yaroshenko’s wife as saying her husband would be home in two hours.

Mr. Reed (30), a native of Texas, was arrested in 2019 and sentenced in July 2020 for allegedly assaulting a police officer while intoxicated. According to AFP, while driving to the police station, Mr. Reed grabbed a policeman’s hand, causing chaos and causing the car to swerve. Mr. Reed also elbowed another officer in the stomach. The US veteran pleaded not guilty and said he did not remember anything about the incident.

Meanwhile, pilot Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in 2010 for allegedly planning to bring 4 tons of cocaine into the US. He was extradited to the US and sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 2011. Mr. Yaroshenko emphasized not guilty.

US pledges to send more weapons to Ukraine, ignores nuclear warning from Russia

The prisoner exchange took place between the time relations between Russia and the US is getting tense around the campaign military of Moscow at Ukraine.

U.S. president Joe Biden on the same day welcomed Mr. Reed’s release and said the negotiation process required many difficult decisions. “Negotiating for us to bring Trevor home required tough decisions that I don’t take lightly,” Biden said.

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