Russia releases a former American soldier who was arrested 9 months ago. Russia on Thursday released a former US Navy SEAL who had been held in Kaliningrad near Poland for nine months, said former US negotiator and politician Bill Richardson. Taylor Dudley has been held since April 2022, and is one of a number of Americans in Russian custody that US authorities and Richardson are seeking to release. Advertising material Last December, Moscow and Washington concluded a prisoner exchange deal that included Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout and American basketball star Brittney Griner. The 31-year-old American has been held in Russia since February after Moscow airport officials found cannabis oil in her luggage while returning to the United States after playing in Russia. While Victor Bout is one of the most famous arms dealers in the world, convicted in the United States of smuggling Russian weapons. Washington is still calling for the release of Paul Whelan, a former US soldier who was arrested in December 2018 in Russia and then sentenced in 2020 to 16 years in prison for "espionage".