Brittney Griner Has Been Cutoff From Family Amidst US-Russia Diplomatic Freeze. And Her Ties To A Russian Oligarch Further Imperil Her Fate.

Cherrelle Griner, wife of Brittney Griner, states that she is devastated as she has not had verbal contact with the WNBA star who has been detained in Russia on drug charges. While support builds for her release, Brittney’s fate is further imperiled by her ties to Iskander Makhmudov, the Russian oligarch who is facing US sanctions and penalties for his association with Vladimir Putin.

Brittney Griner

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Support Pours In For Brittney Griner

Cherelle Griner has posted to social media and shared that she is devastated over Brittney’s detainment in Russia.  Griner says their family is in pain and that she misses Brittney’s voice, indicating that the Olympian has had little or no contact with family since being detained.

“We love you babe!,” Cherelle Griner posted. “People say ‘stay busy.’ Yet, there’s not a task in this world that could keep any of us from worrying about you. My heart, our hearts, are all skipping beats everyday that goes by. I miss your voice. I miss your presence. You’re our person! There are no words to express this pain. I’m hurting, we’re hurting. We await the day to love on you as a family!” 

Griner is also getting support from ex-wife, Glory B. Johnson, who has sent prayers for Brittney in her own Instagram post as well as TV host and Navy and Marine Corps veteran Montel Williams, who has said he believes she has been “wrongfully detained.” 

“I am highly skeptical of the allegations against @brittneygriner and so should we all be. My team has been helping #TrevorReed, a Marine wrongfully detained in Russia and we stand ready to help Ms. Griner. Cc @Suns @PhoenixMercury,” read Montel’s tweet. 

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Griner’s Fate Could Be Tied To Russian Oligarch Sanctions

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the United States is ready to assist.  At a press conference with Moldovan President Maia Sandu, Blinken said, “Whenever an American is detained anywhere in the world, we of course stand ready to provide every possible assistance and that includes Russia.” 

However, with diplomatic relations frozen between Russia and the US, it will be almost impossible to secure a deal for her release.  This problem is further compounded by Griner’s ties to a Russian oligarch who has been named to receive punishing personal sanctions by the US due to his relationship with Vladimir Putin.

Griner played for UMMC Ekaterinburg, which is the Russian basketball team owned by businessman Iskander Makhmudov. Makhmudov has been named as one of the oligarchs with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is being considered for sanctions by the US within the Putin Accountability Act that will impose a block on his personal property and revoke visas among other penalties.

Democratic Rep. John Garamendi of California told CNN on Monday that Griner’s fate may be tied to a deal negotiated between the US and Russia. Perhaps during the various negotiations that may take place, she might be able to be one of the solutions. I don’t know.”

Young Thug Calls On Rappers To Help Africans Escape Ukraine

Over the last couple of weeks, over 1,500,000 people have fled Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded the country. Among these people are African students who state they are facing racial segregation and discrimination as they attempt to pass through borders.  Young Thug wants the rap community to help.