Former US marine Trevor Reed has been released from jail in Moscow, Russia. He has been freed in a prisoner swap after being detained in Russia for three years.
On Wednesday, April 27th, US and Russian officials announced Trevor had been exchanged for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, as reported by BBC.
Trevor was detained in Moscow in 2019, but why was he there in the first place? Here’s what you need to know.
Why was Trevor Reed in Russia?
Trevor Reed travelled to Moscow in 2019 to visit his Russian girlfriend Lina Tsybulnik and learn Russian, the BBC reports.
The 30-year-old US marine from Texas was arrested in the summer of that year. Russian officials claimed he assaulted a police officer after attending a party, Al Jazeera writes.
Trevor pleaded not guilty, however, he was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison in 2020.
Reed was reportedly drunk on the night in question and claimed he had no memory of the incident.
The ex-US marine was exchanged for convicted Russian drug trafficker Konstantin Yaroshenko. Yaroshenko was serving a 20-year-sentence in the US.
Statements about his release
Trevor’s family and President Joe Biden have come forward with statements upon Trevor’s release from prison.
“Today, our prayers have been answered and Trevor is safely on his way back to the United States,” Trevor’s parents Joey and Paula and his sister Taylor said in a joint statement.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Biden said: “Today, we welcome home Trevor Reed and celebrate his return to the family that missed him dearly.”
“The negotiations that allowed us to bring Trevor home required difficult decisions that I do not take lightly. His safe return is a testament to the priority my Administration places on bringing home Americans held hostage and wrongfully detained abroad.”
Where did the exchange take place?
Trevor’s family said that their son was exchanged for Konstantin Yaroshenko in Turkey. It’s said a plane from Russia’s federal security service travelled to the Turkish capital of Ankara.
Yaroshenko is a Russian pilot who was arrested in Liberia over trafficking crimes. He has been serving a 20-year sentence in the United States for drug trafficking.
Yaroshenko had been held at a federal prison in Connecticut since his extradition to the US.
In other news, Why was Trevor Reed in Russia? Ex-US Marine released in prisoner swap