Ex-Marine Returns to US After Prisoner Exchange with Russia

By Doina Chiacu and Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed returned to the United States on Thursday after being released by Russia in a prisoner exchange, and a lawmaker who met with him said the “spirit” of the 30-year-old Texan was strong.

Reed was released on Wednesday on an airport runway in Ankara, Turkey, in exchange for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko. The exchange came despite strained relations between the United States and Russia over the war in Ukraine.

Texas Representative August Pfluger said Reed arrived at a San Antonio airport overnight.

The exchange is not part of broader diplomatic negotiations and does not represent a change in the US approach to Ukraine, according to US officials.

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Russian-American relations are at their worst since the end of the Cold War due to Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow.

Reed was convicted in 2019 in Russia of endangering the lives of two police officers during a drunken brawl on a visit to Moscow. The US called his trial “a theater of the absurd”.

Yaroshenko was arrested by US special forces in Liberia in 2010 and was convicted of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the United States. Russia proposed a prisoner swap for Yaroshenko in July 2019 by any American.

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