Russian authorities agreed to release Trevor Reed from jail Wednesday, freeing the Marine veteran who had been detained in Russia since 2020 over questionable charges in a case that captured the attention of President Joe Biden.
Reed’s release was confirmed by the White House Wednesday morning after initially being announced by the Russian Foreign Ministry as part of a reported prisoner exchange with a Russian citizen detained in the U.S.
Russia said Reed was exchanged for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian citizen who was sentenced to 20 years in American prison on cocaine trafficking charges in 2011 and has long been linked to a potential prisoner swap between the countries.
The U.S. has not publicly commented on Yaroshenko’s involvement, though an anonymous U.S. official confirmed the exchange to the Associated Press and Biden said in a statement securing Reed’s return involved “difficult decisions.”
Biden said in a statement announcing Reed’s release: “Today, we welcome home Trevor Reed and celebrate his return to the family that missed him dearly. Trevor, a former U.S. Marine, is free from Russian detention.”
During his imprisonment, Reed launched several hunger strikes to protest what he called unsafe living conditions, including inadequate treatment of his health conditions, including a possible tuberculosis infection. Reed was sentenced to a nine-year prison sentence in 2020 over a drunken incident involving Russian possible officers in a case and trial U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan deemed “absurd.” Biden met with Reed’s parents March 30 after they protested outside the White House, having earlier told the family he thinks of Reed nearly every day and said the rosary for him in a trip to Reed’s hometown.
What To Watch For
Any developments in the cases of the two other Americans known to be imprisoned in Russia, Marine veteran Paul Whelan and WNBA star Britney Griner. Biden said Wednesday the U.S. “won’t stop until Paul Whelan and others” are released.
Biden Says He Hopes To Meet With Parents Of Trevor Reed, Former Marine Detained In Russia (Forbes)
Russia releases US Marine vet as part of prisoner exchange (Associated Press)