Russian state media praises Putin’s win on Viktor Bout’s exchange

Russian media praised President Vladimir Putin’s “winning” a prisoner swap with the United States in which Brittney Griner was traded for the notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Yevgeny popov, Russian state TV host and Telegram contributor wrote that “Everyone will forget Griner tomorrow.” “Bout is just beginning his life.”

Bout arrived late Thursday in Moscow after the United States and Russia swapped Griner, an arms dealer at Abu Dhabi’s airport for Bout.

The U.S. Department of Justice described Bout as one of the most prolific arms dealers in the world, having sold weapons around the globe to terrorists and America’s enemies over decades. Bout has always denied these charges.

Maria Butina (a Russian lawmaker from the lower house) said that it was a “capitulation by America” just as Bout arrived on the runway at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport.

It shows that Russia does not abandon its people while America is defeated,” Butina stated beside Bout’s mother and wife, who hugged Bout as he returned to Russian soil. Russia did not forget about him.

Bout denied that Russia won the most of the exchange, nor that the U.S. president Joe Biden had been made to look weaker in the first interview he gave with state-run media outlet RT.

I wouldn’t draw this conclusion. He said that he was not sure that either our leadership or any other thinks like he did.

Bout did not downplay his potential significance to Russia.

“I don’t believe I’m important for Russian politics. It’s just that it is difficult to bear it.

Bout was taken into custody in 2008 by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The operation took place in Bangkok’s luxury hotels. Moscow maintained that he was innocent, but in 2012, a Manhattan court sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment.

Bout’s story reads like a thriller, and his fame was so great that he inspired a Hollywood movie “Lord of War” in 2005 starring Nicolas Cage. The film stars Nicolas Cage playing Yuri Orlov as an arms dealer loosely based upon Bout.

Bout was unhappy with the movie.

He told RT that if they’d come to him and had asked me, I’d have made up a better story.

Although little is known about his childhood, he was linked to Russian military intelligence. (GRU), which prides itself on its ability to forgive traitors and not abandon its citizens no matter the price.

Maria Zakharova (spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry) posted a montage with the title “And So 14 Years!” Referring to Bout’s 14-year detention.

This montage featured historical footage of Sergei Lavrov and Zakharova, Foreign Ministers, uttering “Viktor Bout” in the montage.

A statement from the foreign ministry stated that Washington “categorically rejected to enter into dialogue about the inclusion of Russia in the exchange program.” The Russian Federation did not stop working to save our compatriot.

Yevgeny Prizhin, founder of Wagner Group of mercenaries welcomed Bout back.

“Congratulations Viktor Bout. He is a good friend of Putin.

Some Republicans in America criticized Biden’s administration for the switch.

The USA !!!” is in a “stupid” and unpatriotic embarrassment. On social media, former President Donald Trump posted the following.

Trump asked why Griner was traded for one the largest arms dealers in the world, and why Paul Whelan did not get to participate. Whelan is a former Marine who served a 16 year sentence in Russia on charges of espionage.

After being convicted for spying, Whelan was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment in 2020. Russia claimed that he was seized with classified information from a Moscow hotel. Federal Security Service agents detained him Dec. 28, 2018. He denied he had committed any espionage.

The U.S. fury at Bout’s release was widely reported in Russian media. Moskovsky Komsomolets, which is pro-Kremlin, claimed that the exchange “disturbed” Department of Defense officials, citing U.S. media reports.

Margarita Simonyan (editor-in-chief, state-funded RT) stated that Russia won the final exchange because Washington chose to release a convicted U.S. spy who was currently in Russia in prison.


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