35 min

What Brittney Griner’s Detention Can Teach Us About Putin’s War On Shifting Ground

    • News

Just days before Putin invaded Ukraine, Russian authorities detained U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner on reported minor drug charges. Seven months later, Putin’s war rages on … and Griner—a Black lesbian athlete—remains in Russian custody, facing a brutal nine-year sentence that experts say may be politically motivated. 
 
With her sentencing, Griner joins a growing list of US citizens detained abroad—not by rogue terrorist groups, but by established foreign governments. This week, ESPN investigative reporter TJ Quinn and hostage expert Dani Gilbert join Ray to discuss how state-endorsed hostage-taking creates leverage for autocrats—like Putin—upends American diplomatic norms, and places civilians in the crossfire.
 
Guests:
 
TJ Quinn, investigator reporter and senior writer at ESPN
 
Dani Gilbert, hostage expert and Rosenwald Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security at Dartmouth College
 
Host:  
 
Ray Suarez
 
If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Just days before Putin invaded Ukraine, Russian authorities detained U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner on reported minor drug charges. Seven months later, Putin’s war rages on … and Griner—a Black lesbian athlete—remains in Russian custody, facing a brutal nine-year sentence that experts say may be politically motivated. 
 
With her sentencing, Griner joins a growing list of US citizens detained abroad—not by rogue terrorist groups, but by established foreign governments. This week, ESPN investigative reporter TJ Quinn and hostage expert Dani Gilbert join Ray to discuss how state-endorsed hostage-taking creates leverage for autocrats—like Putin—upends American diplomatic norms, and places civilians in the crossfire.
 
Guests:
 
TJ Quinn, investigator reporter and senior writer at ESPN
 
Dani Gilbert, hostage expert and Rosenwald Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security at Dartmouth College
 
Host:  
 
Ray Suarez
 
If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

35 min

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