FOOTAGE shows the dramatic moment former US Marine Trevor Reed was swapped with a Russian drug smuggler.
The exchange involving Reed and Konstantin Yaroshenko, which took place at a Turkish airport, has been compared to a scene from the 2015 movie Bridge of Spies.
Footage captured the moment Reed disembarked a plane alongside Russian officials on Wednesday.
Yaroshenko then left a plane alongside American officials at the other end of the runway.
Reed, who was jailed back in 2019, was escorted to the American plane after there was a handshake between the officials.
Yaroshenko, who was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine in 2010, then boarded a plane where he was taken back to Russia.
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Max Seddon, a Financial Times journalist, said the exchange gave him “Real bridge of spies Cold War vibes”.
In the movie that stars Tom Hanks, Francis Gary Powers was swapped for KGB spy Rudolf Abel in an exchange that took place on the Glienecke Bridge in Berlin, Germany.
Powers' Lockheed U-2 spy plane was shot down in Soviet airspace before being captured in 1960.
Meanwhile, Abel was convicted on three counts of conspiracy as a Soviet spy in 1957 and sentenced to 30 years in jail.
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Reed was studying Russian and visited his girlfriend in Moscow at the time of his arrest.
He was accused of intentionally endangering the lives of government officials in the line of duty.
Russian cops said Reed got drunk and allegedly grabbed the arm of an officer as he was being taken to a station – claims that were dismissed by US officials as “preposterous”.
He was sentenced to nine years in jail for the supposed crime.
Reed’s dad Joey said the ex-Marine was put in a small solitary confinement cell alone or with one other prisoner for most of the time between July 2021 and early March 2022.
He said the room had a hole in the floor for a toilet, an untreated water faucet, and a fold-down metal frame bed on chains.
Joey said his son often had to lie on the floor near a hot water pipe to stay warm during the daytime.
While he was behind bars, Reed staged two hunger strikes between November 2021 and April 2022
Last month, Reed was moved to a prison hospital after coughing blood for weeks, according to his father.
His parents claimed he was exposed to an inmate with active tuberculosis in December of 2021 but had not been tested despite his health rapidly deteriorating.
Reed’s family said their prayers have been “answered” after he was released.
'LIVING A NIGHTMARE'
They said they have been "living a nightmare" while he was behind bars.
The family said: "First and foremost, we'd like to thank President Biden for his kindness, consideration, and for making the decision to bring Trevor home. The President's action may have saved Trevor's life."
Biden welcomed the prison exchange and said talks with Moscow required "difficult decisions".
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: "I am pleased that after years of wrongful detention by the Russian government, Trevor Reed has been freed and reunited with his family."
Last year, Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin branded Reed a “troublemaker” ahead of his summit with Biden in Geneva, Switzerland.
He suggested that Reed's lucky to be alive.
Putin claimed that if he had attacked an American cop “he would have been shot dead on that spot”.
He told NBC: “Your guy, the Marine – he’s just a drunk and a troublemaker. As they say here, he got himself s***faced and started a fight.
“Among other things, he, he hit a cop. It’s, it’s nothing. It’s just a common crime. There is nothing to it.”
He added: “He got drunk on vodka and started a fight. He fought a cop. There is nothing offensive about it.
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“These things happen in life. There is nothing horrible about it. It happens to our men as well. Somebody gulps down some vodka and starts a fight. So you violate the law, you go to prison.
"What would have happened if he’d fought a cop, if he’d hit a cop in your country? He would have been shot dead on that spot, and that’s the end of it. Isn’t that the case?”
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