After Spending Time with Brittney Griner in Russia, Freed Inmate Still Stranded: REPORT

Published 11/20/2022, 5:30 PM EST

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The Brittney Griner saga has shed light on other American citizens stuck in Russia. While retired US marine Paul Whelan has been included in the prisoner swap deal, there is another citizen who remains stranded in Russia despite being freed from the detention facility, as per a recent report. A Fresno resident named Sarah Krivanek spent a while in the same detention facility that held WNBA star Griner before being transferred to Mordovia.

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Krivanek was recently released by the Russian authorities, but she remains stuck in the foreign country due to the expiration of her visa. The US resident’s friend Maria Martinez has done her best to spread her story in attempts to bring Krivanek home safely.

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Sarah Krivanek taught English at a Russian private school after moving to the country almost five years ago. However, she lost her job in 2021 and was subjected to domestic abuse by her boyfriend who beat her. So, in order to protect herself, Krivanek picked up a knife and was later sent to prison after being arrested. However, the former English teacher was detained in a facility even after her boyfriend dropped the charges and admitted in court that he didn’t feel threatened by the knife.

Meanwhile, Krivanek had signed a written agreement that she would not leave Moscow and showcase good behavior. However, she made an attempt to leave the country after advice from the US Embassy. Unfortunately, Krivanek was arrested at the airport and her password was taken away.

Brittney Griner saga sheds light on Krivanek

The Russian authorities detained Krivanek for violating the terms of her agreement in December 2021. The US Embassy claimed to have no knowledge of her agreement or her arrest. Recently, Krivanek’s friend Maria Martinez shared that she had no idea where Sarah was for a long time.

Martinez added“She was at the same detention facility as Brittney Griner and that’s how her story broke when they went to go visit Brittney Griner and ran into Sarah there.”

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Krivanek’s friends stated that Sarah was in the same facility as Brittney Griner. Being close to Griner helped her get discovered by a Russian human right activist who was trying to help Griner. Moreover, Krivanek was stuck in prison for nearly a year before being released recently on November 7.

Krivanek remains stuck in Russia

While Sarah Kraivanek is out of prison, she remains in detention. In fact, she is currently in another facility awaiting the next step from the Russian authorities. Meanwhile, Martinez is doing all she can to bring her friend home. She wants Krivanek to return home and have some peace after so much suffering. Hopefully, the detained US citizen will return home soon.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Did WNBA star Brittney Griner date 7-ft Lakers center, Anthony Davis?

Meanwhile, Brittney Griner has begun her nine-year sentence at the IK-2 facility in Yavas, Mordovia. The US government is working for her release while Griner adjusts to the horrors of a Russian penal colony.

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Written by:

Rohit Kumawat

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Rohit Kumawat is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing an MBA in Media and Business Management, Rohit holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has been working as a Sports and Entertainment writer for over a year.
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Edited by:

Satagni Sikder

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