Griner brought home without Whelan

Paul Whelan remains at this Russian prison camp, while Brittney Griner is on her way back to the U.S. -Courtesy Elizabeth Whelan


This was not the news that the family of Paul Whelan, including Vineyard artist Elizabeth Whelan, had hoped for. The U.S. has made a one-for-one swap of prisoners with Russia, trading arms dealer Victor Bout for WNBA star Brittney Griner.

The U.S. had offered a two-for-one exchange that included Whelan and Griner, but ultimately took what it could get to bring Griner, who had been imprisoned for allegedly bringing illegal drugs into Russia, home.

Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, is being held on what his family says are trumped-up espionage charges.

Elizabeth Whelan told The Times that the family is happy for Griner and her family, but remains concerned about Paul. “It wasn’t exactly what we hoped for. It’s so difficult,” she said. “We’re glad Brittney is free. She was getting started on what was going to be an ordeal in a prison camp. It’s a relief that she is being freed.”

The Whelan family had been hopeful because of their interactions with the Biden administration over the past year. “You tend to think if you get administration on your side and everyone is rallying for a loved one, it’s going to lead to a trade,” she said. “The problem is the other side has a vote in this, and Russia is not known for following the playbook.”

Elizabeth said by not releasing Paul, Russia is attempting to create chaos. “Rather than negotiate in good faith, this is how they choose to play it out,” she said. “My brother is a token in all that.”

“We’ve not forgotten about Paul Whelan, who has been wrongly detained in Russia for years,” President Joe Biden said during a briefing Dec. 8 on the prisoner swap. “This was not a choice of which American to bring home … Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul’s case differently than Brittney’s. And while we have not yet succeeded in securing Paul’s release, we have not given up. We will never give up.”

He noted that his administration remains in touch with the Whelan family.

Elizabeth Whelan did praise the Biden administration for giving the family advance warning that Griner would be released, but Paul Whelan would not. They even sent a member of the State Department to the Island to tell her in person. 

“When Trevor Reed was released and Paul was left behind last time, we only got a half-hour warning. This time, the one thing I asked is, Can we all please learn from this, and can you please let us know in advance?” Elizabeth said.

On Monday, Dec. 12, Elizabeth had a virtual meeting with the White House, and was told that Paul “remains as high a priority as the president has,” according to an email sent to reporters by David Whelan. 

According to a transcript of Monday’s White House press briefing, the White House is exploring other options to bring Paul Whelan home from Russia. National Security advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed the meeting with Elizabeth Whelan.

“You’ll understand that I can’t get into the specifics of the kinds of things that we are contemplating to try to ensure that we get Paul home as soon as we can. I will just say that the conversations with Paul Whelan’s family have been substantive,” Sullivan said, according to the transcript. “They have had a number of very good questions, and also a number of suggestions that they’ve put forward. And we have been working to figure out what it is going to take to ultimately secure his freedom, and how we can go about getting that and being able to sit down with the Russians and work out a deal.”

Asked what the U.S. has to offer without a Russian prisoner in custody, Sullivan said he couldn’t be specific, but said that changing the country’s policy on the Ukraine invasion is not an option.

“We believe that there are plays that we can continue to try to run, things that we have had in motion that we are still working on, that could potentially lead to a positive result here. Again, because of the sensitivity of these issues, I don’t want to go into detail on them, but we are going to keep working at this,” he said. “The big challenge we had over the course of the past several months is that what Russia was asking for to secure Paul Whelan’s release was not something that we had to be able to give. That is a problem we are trying to solve. We have various ways that we are working through solutions, and we will be endeavoring on a daily basis, from the President on down, to finally develop a formula that works.”

In another conversation with The Times on Tuesday, Elizabeth Whelan said the outpouring has been overwhelming. The GoFundMe set up for Paul has gotten a lot of attention, and the messages there have been helpful for the Whelan family. Elizabeth said she received a Christmas card on Tuesday at her Vineyard home offering support for Paul’s release.

“It’s been pretty extraordinary. A lot of media attention, which is great that as many people as possible know about this,” she said, noting that she’s been on everything from MSNBC to NewsMax. 

The one disappointing aspect of the renewed attention is the political vitriol that it’s triggered.

“On one of the TV shows I appeared on, we talked about all of this divisiveness,” she said. “I said, ‘If people have a better idea, members of Congress should go directly to the National Security Council.’”

Elizabeth said some people have gotten in touch with ideas, and without getting into specifics, she relayed those in her meeting with White House officials. 

She wanted the public to know this about the political discourse that’s taking place on social media and in places like The Times comment section: “It’s awful. I don’t know the word to describe it. It’s overwhelmingly bad. To see your brother become someone to be rallied around and the rallying is only because he’s being used as a political football — annoying, overwhelming, and depressing. Paul is a real person, and his family members are real people as well,” she said. 

Some commenters are passing judgment on Paul’s past, including his discharge from the Marines for bad conduct — as if that’s a reason for him to be imprisoned in Russia. “At that point who he is as a person is completely lost,” she said. “Now he is a political football being pushed back and forth. Russia is doing these things on purpose. There was no way they were going to give the president the win of bringing home two people at once for [Bout]. It’s very difficult to see.”

Whelan provided some insight into how Paul was able to do an interview with CNN. After learning from the White House that he wouldn’t be released, he called a reporter who has been corresponding with him in prison, and prison officials allowed the call to go through. Paul has spoken to the media in the past, including one time that landed him in solitary confinement, Elizabeth said.

Paul has spoken with his parents since the news broke. “He was very calm and collected,” Elizabeth said. “He’s concerned, but keeping a level head. I can’t imagine what kind of courage that takes.”

Elizabeth said U.S. Rep. Bill Keating has already phoned her as well. “He is going to bat for Paul bigtime. There’s no doubt,” she said. “If everyone wasn’t already fired up, they are now.”

Still, she wanted to make sure that the public understands her family is happy for Griner. “Any American coming home is a cause for celebration,” she said.

In an email to reporters, David Whelan, Paul and Elizabeth’s brother, also praised the release of Griner. 

“I am so glad that Brittney Griner is on her way home,” David Whelan wrote in an email to reporters. “As the family member of a Russian hostage, I can literally only imagine the joy she will have, being reunited with her loved ones, and in time for the holidays. There is no greater success than for a wrongful detainee to be freed and for them to go home. The Biden Administration made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, and to make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn’t going to happen.’

David Whelan made it clear that the family does not begrudge Griner her freedom. “As I have often remarked, Brittney’s and Paul’s cases were never really intertwined,” he wrote. “It has always been a strong possibility that one might be freed without the other.”

So as Whelan’s fourth anniversary of imprisonment nears, his parents and family members will spend another holiday season apart.

“Despite the possibility that there might be an exchange without Paul, our family is still devastated,” he wrote. “I can’t even fathom how Paul will feel when he learns. Paul has worked so hard to survive nearly four years of this injustice. His hopes had soared with the knowledge that the U.S. government was taking concrete steps for once toward his release. He’d been worrying about where he’d live when he got back to the U.S.”

Whelan wrote that it’s difficult to keep hope. “It’s clear that the U.S. government has no concessions that the Russian government will take for Paul Whelan,” he wrote. “And so Paul will remain a prisoner until that changes.”

Paul’s parents are aging — they will be 85 and 83 — and the family worries that he won’t survive 12 more years in a labor colony. “He has tried to stay healthy, but one wonders how long that determination to keep going can endure,” David Whelan wrote.


  1. Brilliant negotiation by Sleepy Joe. The most notorious arms dealer in history in exchange for a basketball player and small amounts of hashish oil. Bout is a former Soviet military officer and translator who was serving a 25-year prison sentence for conspiring to kill Americans, acquiring and export anti-aircraft missiles and providing material support to a terrorist organization. This negotiation is a metaphor for what Biden is doing to this country.

    • andy–Oliver North walked after lying to congress, trading arms for hostages with Iran, which was at the time under an international arms embargo for supporting terrorist causes, and funded the rise of the current dictator of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega with the proceeds.
      Ortega’s ruthless and corrupt regime is at least part of the problem with the immigration crisis at the border today.
      You can’t really say you have a problem with a comparatively third rate arms dealer going free, can you ?

    • So if the negotiations, as reported, were such that it was either a Griner for Bout one-for-one swap or no deal at all, would that have been your choice ? I guess you consider yourself the arbiter of who’s lives are more valuable. Puts you in pretty bad company.
      Your comment smells pretty bad.

    • Trading an average US citizen who was critical of her country for a convicted arms dealer who had served the majority of his sentence. I am proud of what that says about our country and the priorities of the current administration. This had nothing to do with getting votes. This deal was done with the knowledge that many would be critical of it and use it as a political tool. It feels great to know we have a President who stands up for what is right notwithstanding the poitical consequences.

  2. I know you folks dont want to know it or dont want it to be true but all you have to do is look at Wikipedia on Paul Whelan and you will find all kinds of shady background.

    • andy– I looked Whelan up like you suggested. Yup, sure enough, he has a few shady things in his past.
      I also looked up #45.
      If you are going to base Whelan’s detention on “all kinds of shady things” , then we should trade #45 for Whelan in a heartbeat.
      My guess is the Russians would take that deal and #45 could avoid all his legal problems here, and have a fine old time eating cheeseburgers at the Kremlin, and playing golf at Putin’s billion dollar estate.
      Putin could have his good buddy supporting his “genius” war, and we could get one of our fine citizens back.
      A win win for everybody.

      • Sometimes, Don your attempt at humor falls flat. Let’s be honest. Washington, no matter who is in charge, is the most cynical place on earth. The return of Griner gets lots of votes. The return of Whelan not so much.

          • Could you explain why Putin & co. are trying to appeal to “a voting bloc within the Democratic Party,” and specify what bloc you’re referring to?

          • Susanna:

            NB: “Washington, no matter who is in charge, is the most cynical place on earth. The return of Griner gets lots of votes.”

          • And this, is essentially the product and philosophy of the heartless right- where every move/gesture and action is seen through the lens of “what will benefit ME the most.”. It’s Trumpism 101.
            The epidemic of cynicism here is worse than Covid.

        • Mr. Budris–I wonder if trump had managed to get Whelan out if that would have made a difference in the 2020 election.
          And why didn’t trump get Whelan out ? Whelan had been in Russian custody for over 2 years while trump was a supposedly strong president.
          Sleepy Joe got Griner out in only 10 months. And why did trump leave it to sleepy Joe to end the Afghan war? He had 4 full years to do that.
          While it did not receive the publicity of this case, Sleepy Joe got Trevor Reed , a former U.S marine out of Russia In April of 2022. Reed had spent more time in Russian custody while trump was president than while Biden was. In fact, trump had over 2 years to get Reed out, Sleepy Joe got him out after 16 months as president.
          Even Jimmy Carter managed to get 52 American citizens out of the hands of the completely radicalized Iranians in only 444 days.

          But I will give credit to trump for his efforts to get Otto F. Warmbier out of North Korea, even though trump said that Kim knew nothing about the case. It was reported by the DPRK that the trump administration paid 2 million dollars to get Mr. Warmbier shipped home in a coma, so his family could discontinue life support and let him die on U.S soil 6 days later.
          Other than that terrific case of a “strong president” getting Americans home, I couldn’t find much, other an article in a right wing magazine that says trump took responsibility for getting 17 Americans out of foreign countries. They didn’t say who, and if they were going home because they finished their sentences, or if they were dead.
          Perhaps some of the people here who support trump could provide some details. — I would appreciate being proven wrong again.

          So perhaps you are correct, Mr. Budris.Going through the tough negotiations to bring wrongfully detained Americans home may get votes. And that may very well be why trump lost in 2020.
          I think Americans would rather have a weak, sleepy and feeble president that gets stuff done than a strong one that plays a lot of golf.

          • Mr. Keller, your reflexive response making everything somehow about former President Donald Trump is all one needs to know about the utility of your posts on this sad subject.

          • Mr. Budris.
            There is an underlying theme here on the conservative side that Griner is free because Biden thinks that will get him votes.
            The MAGA mob leaders , like Marjorie Taylor , and former Missouri governor Eric Greitens use ads that have lots of guns and encourage people to go “hog hunting” and “RINO hunting” to save America and get votes.
            I don’t need to be lectured by those who have that reflexive response.
            I’ll vote for the party that cares more about people than their guns, thank you.
            The former president simply did very little to help Americans in captivity. Perhaps he didn’t care about the votes, because it didn’t matter to him if he won the election fair and square or not, since he knew his MAGA mob had more guns than the woke mob.
            Either that, or he was just too busy playing golf, and really couldn’t care less about anyone other than himself.
            Sorry John, #45 created this divisive atmosphere. I will push back on it anytime I can.

          • Mr. Budris
            Sorry, I misspoke in my last comment. trump did care about some people in captivity.
            He got most of his political cronies out of American jails.
            Elliott Broidy
            Anthony Levandowski
            Paul Manafort
            Roger Stone
            Charles Kushner
            George Papadopoulos
            Michael Flynn
            Rod Blagojevich
            And a long list of less known convicted mobsters and “shady” racketeers that supported him.
            Yup, I misspoke– he obviously cared about getting people out of prisons. Just not the likes of Leonard Peletier or non violent marijuana users.
            I wonder how many votes all those pardons got him ?

          • Mr. Keller,
            I rest my case. I would hand you another shovel, but you are doing a bang up job all by yourself.

    • If you look up George Bush, Henry Kissinger, Donald Trump, or about a million other prominent people you will find “shady background”. Does this mean that they all are potentially deserving of being imprisoned without due process? If you are keeping score at home, you can now add victim blaming to Mr Engelan’s long list of “achievements”.

      • He did have due process but the Russian kind. He stole, fabricated college and police, was dishonorably discharged and found with USB files in his pocket. You think he was just there for a wedding but he had many visits to Russia and was involved in nefarious dealings. I am all for bringing in our people back from Russia but Whelan is no innocent.

        • andy–I watched a clip today from the Russian media.
          They also claim that Whelan had a usb file on him.
          Not only that, they claim he is a “decorated marine, covered with medals”…”a hero in America”. Who am I to believe ?

          You make a big deal out of the alleged fact that he had a usb drive “in his pocket”. Are they illegal in Russia ? And you know, I have never heard anything about what was on that usb drive. How about you? Do you know what was on that usb drive ? Has the Russian government told us what was on that drive ? Would you believe them if they said it was the “pee tapes” ?
          I wonder about your motivation to just flat out believe that a former , decorated marine was spying on the Russians and why you are so eager to defame him.
          We know that you were born and spent some of your childhood in the Soviet Union.
          Obama spent a few years of his childhood in Indonesia,which is a predominantly Muslim country) and that was enough “proof” for the republicans to claim Obama was a Muslim.
          Given your early childhood, one might follow the logic cited above and conclude that you may have some allegiances to the Russian federation.

          So, ok– who cares ? We got over the McCarthyism, after all.
          I have 3 usb drives. I will take one of them with me next month when I go to Barbados
          I have been in Barbados before.
          One could also conclude that I have a “shady” background.
          Although I do not have a criminal record, I shoplifted as a teenager, used and sold drugs , and accepted an early (honorable) discharge from the navy that I was offered because the navy wanted to get rid of its “misfits and malcontents” — my CO said I was both.—- TRUE !
          So I wonder if I got arrested and was being used as a political pawn because of some dispute between Barbados and the U.S. would you defame me and throw me under the bus also ?

    • Bout is no longer a threat to the US.
      He is a well marked man, his arms dealing days are all over.
      Griner has plenty basketball left to play.
      She is an inspiration to young girls everywhere.
      Her sexual orientation is just not important to them.

  3. Another unique comment by Andrew Engelman.
    What does one prisoner’s history have to do with the other person’s? Bout, as despicable as he was and likely still is, was valuable to Putin, while Ms. Griner, only a basketball player, was important to President Biden. One human being for another. That was the only deal possible and the President took it.
    And what, Mr. Engelman, is President Biden “doing to this country”? He’s managed to pass a number of valuable pieces of legislation which should have positive impacts on jobs and the American economy in general. Employment remains high and steps are being taken to reduce inflation, which would have happened regardless of who was in the White House.
    He’s trying to mitigate the effects of climate change, and while the problems at the southern border remain, it was a problem for several administrations previously. This President doesn’t vilify his opponents; he tries to find common ground whenever possible.
    The lack of the predicted “red wave” speaks for itself.

    • Steve– some just constantly wring their hand and gnash their teeth whenever a democrat is in office. The country is in much better shape today than it was 2 years ago.
      Don’t even waste your time asking those kind of questio—-RABBIT — HUNTER BIDEN!!!!!!
      Even regular gas is 40 cents cheaper than it was under Bush in 2008, bu—-RABBIT– THE BORDER !!!!!

  4. The Whalens are right that any American coming is a cause for celebration. The President made the only deal available to the U.S. The Whalen family has handled this obvious disappointment with class and with true patriotism.

    • You certainly have drunk the kool-aid, haven’t you Mr. Engelman? Are you wearing your red hat while you’re trying to make America great again?

    • How would you know? Just like every other person not involved in the negotiations you have absolutely no idea.

  5. andy–since when did we start saying that one person’s life was more important than another?
    But I am not surprised that you would consider a notorious arms merchant more important than an accomplished athlete.
    The accomplished athlete is gay after all.
    Would you consider Tom Brady a “fly” if he were wrongfully imprisoned and sentenced to 9 years of hard labor in a squalid camp?

  6. “The President made the only deal available to the U.S.” Yes he did because he is weak and it was the only deal he could accomplish. It’s fine that a WNBA player is back home but shouldn’t we try to get a Marine back here who hasn’t taken a knee against our country?

    • John– If only Mr. Whelan had been fortunate enough to have been arrested while a strong president was in the oval office,he would have been out in a matter of days.
      But I do understand that in 2018 the president of the U.S was very busy keeping those campaign promises to end the Afghanistan war, rebuild our infrastructure, build an impenetrable wall that has been breached about 4,000 times and that “illegals” routinely climb over. And he had to convince people that covid was a hoax, and they should take horse dewormers ( not easy to do THAT !) and of course, ending all those silly “treaties” while alienating all of our allies and falling in love with powerful ruthless dictators.
      That and pardoning his friends who were convicted of serious crimes right here in the U.S.,
      and playing 307 rounds of golf of course.
      I understand– #45 was very strong, but was simply much too busy to worry about a “shady spy”.
      To the Whalen family– I am only using that term to mock you know who..
      Don’t lose hope.

    • Taking a knee is for our country not against it.
      To protest government malfeasance is what makes us free.
      That and the disproportionate incarceration of people of color.
      Reason enough to take knee during the playing of The National Anthem.
      Show your support for democracy and freedom.

        • Great idea, Jason. With Joe Biden as president, and an emboldened democratic party destroying our country and teaching our kids about all manner of immoral things, you would think that the true “patriots” would be moving out of the country in droves.
          Sorry, Jason, but America is an inclusive place. We value the lives of black people, gay people, trans people, indigenous people.
          We abide by a constitution that does not favor any religious beliefs over another, and we don’t base our laws on religious dogma. We have a justice system that is open and transparent, and at least attempts to apply the laws evenly. — yes, it fails sometimes, but at least we know when it fails.

          We welcome asylum seekers from countries that are being devastated by corrupt politicians and capitalistic greed. We are helping to defend a sovereign country from blatant aggression and crimes against humanity. We are slowly becoming a world leader on issues of clean energy and trying to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change.
          I doubt that the orange hero the Kool-aid drinking republicans have been depending on to make america great will get a fresh shot at being a dictator.
          Face it, Jason, this is not the America you love.
          But it is the reality.
          Take your own advice and get out while you still can.

    • Do you know what the most decorated Marine at the time of his death had to say about the US government? Hint, he wrote book called “War is a Racket”. And when he protested in Washington about the treatment of vets, Army calvary units led by Macarthur gassed them. You might want to read up on General Smedley Butler. He also foiled the “business plot” which was like the original Jan 6th, just done by corporations. Sound familiar?

  7. What a great exchange. An international arms dealer, probably responsible for countless killings in exchange for a wnba basketball player.? You watches that anyway?

  8. I am sure there are many more deserving Americans in prisons abroad that have similar stories and no one is coming to rescue them. It shows you that being a celebrity and having a Woke lifestyle makes you more privileged today. The fact is she broke the law in a foreign country, and Russia is not the only country that has extreme penalties for what we consider here normal. This is all about Biden’s history on what can you do for me? Can you make me some money? can you get me some votes? Biden will do anything for both.

    • Griner is a celebrity for the same reason Trump is a celebrity, a lot of people of people enjoy watching them perform.
      Reagan and Trump, America’s greatest Presidents, were both Hollywood Celebrities.

    • Bob– Right, I remember when Biden said he only needed 11,780 votes.
      And it’s obvious that all he cares about is money.

  9. Lots of hate flinging from the red’s.
    Is it gender, sexual orientation, race or all of the above?
    I’ve noticed that they are all male and mostly identify white straight.
    The difference between the two Americans in prison are one had drugs one is accused of being a spy.
    Let’s NOT FORGET boys you have yet again fallen for one of puten (yes) and dickie donald game on black vs white.

    • Key word: Accused. For all we know at this point, Paul is locked up because he is an American soldier and that is it. Let me say that I do feel that the sentence for the basketball player was much too harsh. On the other hand, when travelling overseas, you should be well aware of what can get you locked up. Considering the timing of this, a great negotiator more than likely could have brought our soldier home for Christmas. We don’t even know who did the “deal.” Let’s keep it real, the current President is not capable. Paul is one of our countries finest and signed his life away at one point to help preserve the right to do what we are doing right now. Do not forget that. Just because I am one of those aging, white, heterosexual males who actually at one time wore the dress blue uniform, does not mean that I lack compassion or the right to share my thoughts on what I see from where I sit. Don’t be so judgmental. Look in the mirror because bias and hate does come in many different forms.

  10. The Whelan family is showing unbelievable grace while subjected to pressure I can’t imagine. I hope Elizabeth, her siblings, and their parents don’t come by to see how small-minded and vindictive some Vineyarders are. Thanks to the Times for keeping us updated in more detail than the national papers have room for.

    • Thank you, Susanna.

      It is heartbreaking to read these vicious comments about my brother and Brittney Griner, and the administration working to get Americans home. Unfortunately it is difficult to miss the vitriol. Even worse to hear it from fellow Islanders.
      This nastiness is precisely what Putin wants, and is achieving. I am amazed that so many are willing to be party to this nonsense.

      I appreciate your kind comment and thank you for it.

  11. Griner is gay, black and female. Is anyone actually surprised republicans couldn’t care less if she died in a Russian work camp?

    • You showed your true colors by making such a blanket statement. I know some very fine people on both sides of the spectrum. Be fair and please harness your bias and hatred for others who may see things differently than you do. It is safe to say that we would all like to have our citizens home and happy. Let’s work on being a bit more tolerable and can we stop talking about DT and move forward with the hand we have been dealt presently? Merry Christmas.

      • Sure if you ignore reality. If Biden made the exact same deal but brought home a male white military vet republicans would not be complaining. You know it, I know it and so does everyone else. Keep deluding yourself if you want but don’t try to gaslight me, I’m not gonna let that go Bud.

    • Jumping to conclusions, she broke the law in a foreign country, and those countries have extreme penalties. I am willing to bet there are more deserving gay black females in prison in the US right now that should be released for minor in fractions. But they are not getting the time of day because they cannot deliver any votes for Bidum.

  12. Definitely some who slobber over Biden. Biden was a decent person when I was a Democrat. He then became so enamoured with power, he forgot the middle class. Now Griner is his type.

      • The negativity you spew is not helping anyone. Please try to be the solution and stop being the problem because you really are. Peace, love, and tolerance right?

      • Don, I’m sure you have heard the phrase “it’s better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”. You’d be wise to keep this saying in mind.

    • With all due respect Katherine, I wouldn’t invoke how official Russian news sources view the facts as proof or a litmus test for practically anything other than how to control people with propaganda. Certainly you don’t expect the Russian press to offer “fair and balanced” covergae in terms of criticizing their own government. Of course the Russian press will call it a victory for the Russian goverment. And don’t for a moment confuse Russian propaganda either with the truth or with how the Russian people themselves view any given issue. Russian people are aware their press is controlled by the government just as we Americans are aware of the biases in our own media. God bless America and our free press.

      • Re “I wouldn’t invoke how official Russian news sources”
        With “all due respect,” Dan, I did no such thing.
        The only thing I “invoked” was readers’ possible curiosity.

    • Katherine
      I quoted that clip yesterday.
      They claim Whelan is a former marine “covered with medals” and an American hero.
      Right there in your clip–someone should tell andy.
      This same show has also claimed Ukraine is infested with nazis, Ukraine provoked the war,they bomb their own schools and hospitals to get sympathy from the west, and of course, the Russians are winning. That show is also the one that broke the “stunning” news that Ukraine was producing chemical weapons, and that it was Ukrainian forces that shot down Malaysian airlines flight 17 in July of 2014.
      Every other media outlet in Russia is closed, Or tows the party line.
      Quoting that source and saying it somehow reflects the view of Russians is like showing a clip from Alex Jones’s Infowars show and concluding that Americans think the Sandy Hook school shooting never happened. Or that Mike Lindell (the pillow guy) really does have 110% absolute irrefutable proof that the 2020 election was stolen and he will release it all next week.

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