Former Russian arms dealer traded for WNBA's Griner now running for office

 July 4, 2023

The former Russian arms dealer traded in a prison swap for WBNA star Brittney Griner is now running for political office.

Viktor Bout, 56, is running for the regional legislature in the nation's far-right Russian Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

His prison sentence

"The arms dealer, once known as the "merchant of death," had been serving a sentence in the U.S. after his 2008 arrest in Thailand. He was freed in December 2022 as part of a prisoner swap for Griner, who had been sentenced to nine years in prison for possession of vape cartridges containing cannabinoids," Fox News reported.

"Bout served just 10 years of his 25-year sentence in the U.S." the report added.

His run for office

"In a Telegram video posted a week after his release, Leonid Slutsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, welcomed Bout into the ranks of the organization," the New York Post reported.

“[He is] a courageous man who has become a symbol of a struggle for principles, for spiritual and moral foundations of today’s Russia,” Slutzky said.

Merchant of Death

"Before his arrest in 2008, Bout helped fuel civil wars across the world by supplying sophisticated weapons to fighting factions — sometimes to both sides in bloody conflicts," CBS News reported.

"His arms-dealing work earned him his infamous nickname. Bout was taken into custody as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration sting operation that spanned three continents," it added.

Many American leaders blasted the Biden administration's trade between Griner and Bout, claiming that the move gave Russia far more than the U.S. received.

The WNBA star served several months in jail before returning to the U.S. where she rejoined her team.

The latest update should anger Americans upset over the latest political move in Bout's political effort that will go to Russian voters on Sept. 10 in the election for the Krasnoyarsk City Council.

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