Convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout takes part in LDPR branch opening in Luhansk

18 December 2022, 03:05 PM
Viktor Bout (Photo:REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

Viktor Bout (Photo:REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

The Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) has opened a branch in the so-called “LNR” with convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was recently released from a U.S. prison, attending the event, Russian state news agency TASS reported on Dec. 18.

The “LNR” or Luhansk People’s Republic, is a sham state let set up by the Kremlin in 2014 after Russian forces invaded and occupied part of the eastern Ukrainian oblast of Luhansk.

Bout, a Russian citizen who was recently released from a U.S. prison in a prisoner exchange, was serving time for illegal arms trading and cooperation with Colombian terrorists. On his return to Russia he said he would enter politics, and joined the LDPR party.

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U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, convicted in the Russia in a case of drug smuggling, was exchanged for Bout on Dec. 8. Saudi Arabia and the UAE acted as mediators in the exchange negotiations.

Bout, nicknamed "Merchant of Death," is a former Soviet military officer who before being exchanged had been a 25-year prison sentence in the United States on charges of conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens, purchase and export anti-aircraft missiles, and providing material support to a terrorist organization.

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