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Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Brittney Griner waits during a hearing in Khimki, Russia, in August. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/AFP/Getty Images/File)

The US State Department is aware of detained WNBA star Brittney Griner’s whereabouts, principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said Wednesday.

Patel said they know the location of Griner – who was transferred from Moscow to a penal colony — through lawyers, and “formally the Russian Federation has still failed to provide any official notification for such a move of a US citizen, which we strongly protest.”

Patel did not provide details on where she has been moved, saying at a briefing, “our embassy and our mission in Moscow has continued to press for more information about her transfer and her current location and those requests continue to be ongoing.”

He said he was not aware that anyone from the embassy had been able to speak with Griner since her transfer.

Remember: Griner was convicted of deliberately smuggling drugs into Russia and sentenced to nine years of jail time in August in a case that has raised concerns she is being used as a political pawn in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Judge Anna Sotnikova of the Khimki city court delivered the sentence and fined Griner 1 million rubles, or about $16,400. She said the court took into account Griner’s partial admission of guilt, remorse for the deed, state of health and charitable activities. Prosecutors had asked that she be sentenced to 9.5 years in jail.

Prior to the verdict, Griner apologized to the court and asked for leniency in an emotional speech.

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