Another American was released from Russia Thursday and is now on her way back to California.
It happened on the same day as WNBA star Brittney Griner‘s release from a Russian prison. But unlike Griner, Sarah Krivanek was not part of a prisoner swap.
Krivanek’s friend Anita Martinez told NBC Bay Area that she was Facetiming her, when she saw Krivanek being grabbed and taken into Russian custody for a domestic violence situation.
It’s been her mission for more than a year to bring Krivanek home. The last update Martinez got Thursday that Sarah was on a layover in Dubai.
Krivanek is expected to land in Los Angeles. There, Martinez will drive her back to Fresno, where they are both from.
“I’m worried about her. I have talked to her. I know she has a lot of anxiety and depression and PTSD. We just got to get her the help, get her healthy. Hopefully, she gets back on her feet,” Martinez said.
Krivanek moved to Russia in 2017, according to her friends. She was teaching English. But when Krivanek tried to leave the country in 2021, she was convicted and then, was incarcerated in December.
Krivanek’s friends said that she was trying to defend herself in a domestic violence situation by pulling a knife and injuring a male roommate who was beating her.
Even after Krivanek’s release, Martinez said she won’t believe it until she’s able to hug her friend on U.S. soil.
Source: NBC Bay Area