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April 13, 2023
Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout said Saturday that he fully supports Russia’s war on Ukraine and said that if he would “certainly go as a volunteer” if he could.
Bout, also known as the “Merchant of Death,” was recently released by the Biden administration in exchange for WNBA player Brittney Griner, who was accused of smuggling drugs.
Bout made his remarks during an interview with state media network RT, as reported by CNN.
“I fully support the special military operation,” Bout said when asked about Russia’s advance into Ukraine. “If I could, I would share the skills I have and I would readily volunteer.”
According to CNN, Bout was convicted of conspiring to kill Americans, acquiring and exporting anti-aircraft missiles, and providing support to a terrorist organization. However, Bout rejected the charges in the interview.
Bout said that he only accepted the plea deal was because “what was one supposed to do?”
“How can you trust this system when it works against you?” he argued, claiming that his public defender misled him.
When asked about the conditions of the US prison he was jailed at, Bout said that it was designed to “break a person’s will,” and said that prisoners were treated in an “inhuman” way.
When asked if he kept a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin in his prison cell, Bout said he did, adding that “I’m proud that I’m Russian and that our president is Putin.”
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ALJAZEERA.COM